South West Africa Territorial Force Signal Corps
Beret Badge & Balkie 1980 to 1990
[Colin Hodgkins collection SWA 0001]
This is an example of the South West Africa Territorial Force Signal Corps beret badge and Balkie. The cap badge is secured by stick pins, one on each antler and a threaded post (bolt) on the main body of the badge. It is of an antique silver look construction. The Balkie bar is of metal and epoxy resin construction secured by two stick pins.
The SWATF did not have their own ‘Jimmy’ style cap badge but wore the Gemsbok badge. To denote the wearer as being Signals a balkie bar, green on the left, grey centre diamond with navy blue on the right, was worn below the Gemsbok.
On 1st August 1980 the formation of a Department of Defense in South West Africa (Namibia) was a big stride in the direction of autonomy and independence.
Thus was formed an independent South West Africa defense force. All the units therein were collectively known as the SWATF (South West Africa West Africa Territorial Force). Cooperation between the SWATF and the SADF (South Africa Defense Force) was coordinated by a joint committee and was to establish an independent HQ for the SWATF.
By 1989 SWATF consisted of approximately 30,000 men and in late 1989 the SADF withdrew from SWA and Namibia gained their independence on 21st March 1990.