Nkwe ya Gauta

Nkwe ya Gauta
Nkwe ya Gauta
Nkwe ya gauta ng.jpg

Nkwe ya Gauta (
Awarded by South African National Defence Force
Type Medal
Eligibility Officers and other ranks of the SANDF
Awarded for Awarded for outstanding bravery in extreme danger
Status Since 2003

The Nkwe ya Gauta (English: Golden Leopard) is South Africa's highest of the three classes of the Nkwe Decoration (see also Nkwe ya Selefera and Nkwe ya Boronse decorations. It was instituted with effect from 27 April 2003, and may be awarded to members of the South African National Defence Force (or any other armed forces serving with the SANDF) for exceptional bravery during military operations. A bar may be awarded to a recipient who earns the decoration again. A recipient is entitled to use the post-nominal letters NG. The Nkwe ya Gauta (Golden Leopard) Decoration replaced the Honoris Crux Gold Decoration (Awarded for outstanding bravery in extreme danger).



The honours for bravery may be awarded to officers and other ranks of the SANDF who have distinguished themselves by performing acts of exceptional bravery during military operations. A bar may be awarded for a successive similar achievement. The award of the decoration for service in active military operations shall be indicated by distinguishing insignia according to the Service in which the recipient was serving, ie Army uniform: Crossed swords; Air Force uniform: Eagle; Naval uniform: Anchor and Military Health Service uniform: Rod of Aesculapius.


  • Deliberate but daring and courageous actions on a single occasion or over a period of time.
  • Single act of valour; or most conspicuous bravery of daring or pre-eminent act of self-sacrifice; or
  • extreme devotion to duty in the presence of an enemy.
  • Real threat for loss of own life.
  • Places a high premium on the prevention of the loss of lives.
  • Actions vital to attain success.
  • Perseverance under extremely difficult situations.

The decoration is a gold 5-armed convex cross with rays separating the arms. In the centre is a light blue roundel displaying a leopard's head. The South African coat of arms appears on the reverse.

The ribbon is light blue with gold edges. Light blue represents the feathers of the blue crane bird, which Xhosa kings used to present to brave warriors. An arm-of-service emblem is worn on the ribbon to indicate whether the recipient was serving in the army, air force, navy, or military health service at the time of earning the decoration.

Language of origin: SESOTHO

Medal distinction: LEOPARD

Ribbon colour design: YELLOW (Gold) 6mm and SKY BLUE (Blue Crane) 20mm

The NG forms part of a trio of military decorations for bravery, the others being the Nkwe ya Selefera (Silver Leopard) and the Nkwe ya Boronse (Bronze Leopard).


  • Medal number 00? - None Awarded.

See also

External links

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