121 South African Infantry Battalion

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121 South African Infantry Battalion
SANDF 121 SAI emblem.jpg
121 SAI emblem
Active1979 to present
Country South Africa
Branch South African Army
TypeMotorised infantry
Part ofSouth African Infantry Formation
Garrison/HQMtubatuba, KwaZulu-Natal
EngagementsSouth African Border War
OC 1981Major E Pretorius
OC 1982 -1984Commandant J Quinn
OC 1984 -1989Commandant JJ Lotheringen
OC 1990 -1992Commandant P. Smythe
Company level insigniaSA Army Company Insignia.png

121 South African Infantry Battalion is a motorised infantry unit of the South African Army.



A decision was made around 1979 to develop a Zulu speaking infantry battalion.[1] On 20 January men who had reported for duty at the Josini Base were sent to 21 Battalion in Lenz near Johannesburg where 79 men completed training.


On 23 April 1979, 121 Battalion was established and allocated lines near an old Water Affairs compound at Jozini.[2] By 1980 a platoon of 121 Battalion was despatched for duty in South West Africa.

By 1981 121 Battalion was relocated to a new base at Dukuduku where the leopard head was adopted as the beret badge. 121 Battalion received its national colours in 1989.

Freedom of the city was issued to 121 Battalion by:

  • Umhlanga in 1989 and
  • Mtubatuba in 1994

SANDF's Motorised Infantry[edit]

SANDF's Motorised Infantry is transported mostly by Mamba APC's, Samil trucks, or other un-protected motor vehicles. Samil 20,50 and 100 trucks transport soldiers, towing guns, and carrying equipment and supplies. Samil trucks are 2x4 and 4x6 drive, in order to have vehicles that function reliably in extremes of weather and terrain. Motorised infantry have an advantage in mobility allowing them to move to critical sectors of the battlefield faster, allowing better response to enemy movements, as well as the ability to outmaneuver the enemy.


From Honorary Colonel To
From Officer Commanding To
From Regimental Sergeants Major To


Previous Dress Insignia[edit]

SADF era 121 Battalion insignia

Current Dress Insignia[edit]

SANDF era Infantry Formation insignia


  1. ^ Grundy, K.W. Soldiers without politics, Blacks in the South African Armed Forces, Perspectives on Southern Africa, 33, University of California Press, Berkley. ISBN 0-520-04710-9 AACR2
  2. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-01. Retrieved 2014-12-23.