Ciskei Defence Force
|Ciskei Defence Force|
Coat of arms of Ciskei
1st and 2nd Battalion|
|Headquarters||Jong'umsobomvu, outside King Williams Town|
|Commander-in-Chief||Brigadier General Oupa Gqozo|
|Deployed personnel||2000 (1993)|
|Budget||R99 910 000 (1993)|
|History||Military history of South Africa|
The Ciskei Defence Force (CDF) was established during March 1981 from the 141 Battalion of the South African Defence Force (SADF). It was the defence force of the Republic of Ciskei, an independent bantustan during the Apartheid era of South Africa. It functioned as part of the 21 Battalion based near Lenasia, outside Johannesburg.
Organisation and structure
According to Dr Jakkie Cilliers, the CDF consisted of the following:
- Logistic Depot: including general equipment, uniforms, daily maintenance, rations, fuel, etc.
- Maintenance and Construction Unit
- Training Centre.
One Ciskei Battalion
- 3 companies of which 2 had Mamba mine-protected vehicles
- a small support company
- a large Light Workshop Troop and signals workshops which served the whole of the CDF
Two Ciskei Battalion
The battalion consisted of 700 men and was stationed at Keiskammahoek; it consisted of:
- 3 companies with Mamba mine-protected vehicles
- a small support company.
- two Shorts Skyvan light transport aircraft for paratroopers and general air transport
- three MBB/Kawasaki BK 117 helicopters
- three light fixed wing aircraft for communication flights, etc. (Cessna 150)
- two Britten-Norman Islanders for personnel and freight transport
- Piper Cub
There was a special forces/parachute company stationed at Bulembu, the core of a possible future parachute regiment. The Ciskei military band was also stationed at Bulembo and fell under the Air Wing for administrative purposes.
"The CDF had semi-permanent company bases at Alice and Kama/Whittlesea. There are also Auxiliary Services for which the CDF provided training and certain administrative functions. These Services are tasked with the protection of chiefs and headmen. These forces are controlled by structures within the Council of State. There is also a decentralised medical and signals element.
|OF-10||OF-9||OF-8||OF-7||OF-6||OF-5||OF-4||OF-3||OF-2||OF-1||OF(D) and student officer|
|No equivalent||No insignia|
|Chief Warrant Officer
The CDF was equipped for counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. The CDF had one 25 pounder field gun for ceremonial purposes and used R4/R5 assault rifles. The 7,62 mm Light Machine Gun issued was the SS-77. Other armaments included the 40 mm Multiple Grenade Launcher, 60 mm and 81 mm mortars and 7,62 mm Browning.
Vehicles included Mambas, Buffels, Samil 20, seven ton Isuzu trucks and 4x4 vehicles."
There were two medals awarded for service to the members of the CDF namely:
The Flag of Ciskei was located in the canton on a green background. On the green a large golden eagle clasped a lightning bolt.
- Gavin Cawthra and Martin Navias: The Ciskei Defence Force. Jane's Intelligence Review, February 1993, 94-96.