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117 Battalion
SADF 117 SA Battalion shoulder flash version 2.png
117 Battalion emblem
Active 1993-1997
Country  South Africa
Branch  South Africa Army
Type Motorised infantry
Part of South African Army Infantry Corps
Garrison/HQ Soekmekaar
Motto(s) Tiro sano
Equipment Buffel APC, Samil 20
Company level Inisgnia SA Army Company Insignia.png
SA Motorised Infantry beret bar circa 1992

SA Motorised Infantry beret bar

111 Battalion was a motorised infantry unit of the South African Army.


Origin of the black battalions[]

By the late 1970s the South African government had abandoned its opposition to arming black soldiers.[1]

By early 1979, the government approved a plan to form a number of regional African battalions, each with a particular ethnic identity, which would serve in their homeland or under regional SADF commands.[2]

Location of the 100 Battalions in relation to their respective homelands

Development of the Lebowa Defence Force[]

Two additional Northern Sotho Battalions were established, the 117 and the 118. Troops for 117 SA Battalion were recruited from the self-governing territory of Lebowa.

Higher Command[]

117 Battalion resorted under the command of Group 14 from Potgietersrus.[3]

SADF Group 14 emblem


117 Battalion was converted into a training unit around 1997 and was finally amalgamated into 3 South African Infantry Battalion as part of the new SANDF.


SADF 117 Battalion insignia


Peled, A. A question of Loyalty Military Manpower Policy in Multiethinic States, Cornell University Press, 1998, ISBN 0-8014-3239-1 Chapter 2: South Africa: From Exclusion to Inclusion


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