-->''"South Africa wants two, that's right\\
One for the Black and one for the White!"''
-->-- Music/TomLehrer on South Africa's nuclear ambitions, "Who's Next?", ''Music/ThatWasTheYearThatWas''

South Africa's military is an interesting one, primarily because of UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra and their contribution to other wars.

Subject to a large-scale arms embargo, the South African regime was forced to develop its own weaponry, such as the Vektor R4 rifle and the Cheetah (modified Mirages). Many of their products were actually world-class ''or better'' - South African artillery, for instance, was widely regarded as the best in its class for several years. Also, it produced the Casspir and Buffel Infantry Fighting Vehicles (which are proof against landmines and Improvized Explosive Devices); the latter has a variant produced in the US as the Buffalo, and is a major inspiration behind the program to replace the Humvee (which is ridiculously vulnerable to landmines).

South Africans fought for Britain during UsefulNotes/WorldWarI and UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and their Air Force turned up in Korea (earning a US [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Air_Force#Korean_War Presidential Unit Citation]]).

During UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra, the South Africans fought a border war with Angola (and unsuccessfully tried to stop Namibia, ex-German South West Africa, from gaining independence) against Marxist guerrillas- a reason why the US and UK were reluctant to challenge the regime too closely. Their main allies in Angola were the pro-West (but anti-colonialist) independence group [[http://www.unitaangola.org/ UNITA]]. Their enemies were the Communist-backed MPLA, along with soldiers from Cuba and the Soviet Union. While in Angola, the South Africans did quite well, but they eventually withdrew when reinforcements were needed for homeland defense.

Also during UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra, South Africa was a nuclear state. The rationale was, while it was nominally allied to the West in the Cold War, it had Soviet-leaning neighbors who had no complicated embargo issues hindering their military development. Also, South Africa has a great deal of uranium. Also - in a strictly unofficial capacity - South Africa and Israel, the wild children of the non-communist world, entered into a technical-expertise-for-uranium trade relationship. And finally also, at the end of the '80s South Africa magnanimously destroyed their entire six-nuke arsenal and signed the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. The fact that the Apartheid administration was going to have to give way to the black majority in the near future was, of course, entirely coincidental (given Mandela's strong anti-nuclear stance as president, it's doubtful he would have minded).

Today, far smaller, it focuses on peacekeeping, participating in African Union and United Nations missions in Burundi and the Congo (DRC), among other areas. It has been renamed the South African ''National'' Defense Force (formerly, it was the SADF, no N). The SANDF today is a combination of the former SADF, together with the ex-Bantustan defense forces and the former armed wings of the ANC and PAC.

Unique to other militaries, South Africa had a fourth separate branch called the South African Military Health Service. They are mainly the [[CombatMedic combat medics]] of the armed forces. They are occasionally given AdaptationalVillainy and cast as a HerrDoktor-type bio-warfare unit.

It is receiving Swedish Gripen fighters to replace the domestic Cheetahs, which in turn are being sold off to Ecuador. Its military hardware production capabilities are now tooled mostly to producing armored vehicles for peacekeeping, policing, and civilian security, in which it is a market leader (the UN is especially fond of South African vehicles). It exports armored vehicles to countries such as Canada and India, and high-tech self-propelled artillery to several Middle Eastern countries, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

'''The South African Military in fiction:'''


[[folder: Fanfic ]]

* In the MLP fanfic ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauNotAlone'', the South African military is prominently featured, as the city of Cape Town was the first major population center to be destroyed by Equestria's advancing barrier.
* In the ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' of Creator/AAPessimal, Rimwards Howondaland is a resurgent former colony on the far tip of the continent. An expy of South Africa in UsefulNotes/TheApartheidEra, it has two large and powerful Black Howondalandian neighbours and an undeclared border war is always going on ''somewhere''. usually in, er, ''[[MeaningfulName Smith-Rhodesia]]''. [[note]] Rimwards Howondaland is reluctantly supported by Ankh-Morpork, a state that deplores apartheid, but realises that its superpower rival Klatch is sponsoring the Black Howondalandian states on the other side. It becomes superpower rivalry by proxy, as in our world.[[/note]] In consequence its standing army is larger than usual, there is a massive pool of trained reservists who can be recalled very quickly, and its military structure is far more evolved and streamlined than most nations on the Disc, and it has some very good weapons indeed. Conscription of all able-bodied eighteen-to-twenty year olds for two years' National Service is part of the deal. In the tale ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12321109/1/Gap-Year-Adventures Gap Year Adventures]]'', the story opens with a group of White Howondalandians who have just graduated from the Assassins' School gloomily considering the next rite of passage is conscript military service. One who gets deferment for a year is eventually drafted and ends up in Twenty-Three Recruit Platoon, learning about her nation's army from the bottom up.


[[folder: Film ]]

* In ''Film/BloodDiamond'', Danny Archer was a member and fought in Angola.
* In ''Film/{{District 9}}'' the South African-staffed PMC hired to deal with aliens over Johannesburg actually uses Surface-to-Air Missiles near the end of the movie.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Alan Paton's novel ''Too Late The Phalarope'', the main character's willingness to go off to World War II alongside the British (onetime enemies of the Dutch colonists in the past) is a major source of tension with his staunchly anti-British father.
* Matthew Reilly's novel ''Area 7'' features ex-South African commandos fighting to gain a biological weapon that will allow them to bring back Apartheid.
* Creator/LarryBond's ''Vortex'' features a South African invasion of Namibia after hardliners seize power from reformers within the government.
* ''Literature/GravitysRainbow'' features the [[GratuitousGerman Schwarzcommandos]] - A group of Hereros who have been brought to Germany by Nazis and trained as rocket technicians.
* ''Literature/TheSixthBattle'' features an invasion of South Africa by neighboring states backed by a [[MakeTheBearAngryAgain resurgent Soviet Union in all but name]].


[[folder: Live-action TV ]]

* ''Series/WarriorOfLoveRainbowman'' has the EliteMooks of the BigBad in the third arc being South African mercenaries equipped with machine guns and fighter jets.


[[folder: Video Game ]]

* ''[[VideoGame/GraviteamTactics Graviteam Tactics: Operation Hooper]]'' allows you to play as the 61 Mechanised Battalion Group and two UNITA infantry battalions during the battles for Cuito Cuanavale in February 1988.
** Their tank game ''Steel Armor: Blaze of War'' has the South Africans along with their UNITA allies as the enemies in the Operation Hooper campaign.