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Old South Africa Police SAP tunics


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I have 2 old South African Police bush jacket style tunics. They are both made of a corduroy type material, and although they appear mostly identical, one is more of a gray- blue in color, while the other is more of a true blue in color. The bluer of the two is also pleated in the back, while the grayer one is not. The bluer tunic has a manufacturer's label with a date of 1983. The grayer tunic does not have any date marking I can find. Does anyone with any knowledge of old South African Police uniforms have any information regarding the significance of the different colors of these     otherwise similar uniforms? Thanks very much




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hi 0cpd 71i had a talk to my brother who spent all of the 80s and 90s serving with the sap he remembers members of the  flying squad wearing the grey blue uniforms, and they were quit commonly worn by sap guys when he was based at john Vorster square in the later 80s they may have been a production variation to tone down the blue but he is not sure hope this helps

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  • 1 year later...

I realise that this was posted some time ago but as an EX SAP member who wore both patterns of this summer uniform I can say that the two uniforms were different patterns altogether. The Blue grey belted "safari Suit" uniform was mainly a shorts issue, (although towards the end of its life was issued with longs) worn from the 1960's through to late 1970's early 1980s when all the uniforms were standardised. 

Before this Non-White police wore Brown (khaki) uniforms and brown collar & tie, brown shoes without this form of summer dress and their insignia was of chrome. Whites wore a two-tone uniform of grey trousers with blue tunics collar & tie in the winter and the grey summer uniform with grey shorts and grey knee high 'golf" socks and black shoes with brass insignia.  

In then late 1970's all police wore the same uniform and at the same time, the summer dress changed from shorts to long trousers as by then "Safari Suits" were a popular civilian attire but with long trousers and the colour changed to a more "blue" colour and the top was altered to make a more pleasing fit without a belt. All Insignia also changed to voided, the cap badge having previously been of solid brass and it was slightly smaller. The Insignia was also given a gilded finish. As your uniform was purchased by you and given a two-year life the changeover was gradual.

In the mid-1980's the so-called field dress was issued this basically being modelled on the camouflage uniform worn by the riot and counter-insurgency units but in more french blue colour with brown leather or blue canvas boots. This replaced the both the summer and winter uniforms as working dress with only the winter uniform being retained for non-field work. The old summer uniform was no longer authorised for wear after I think 1985. 

The difference is therefore not a manufacturers variant, but two distinct patterns of uniform one worn by only white members and the other worn by all members.


Edited by sabadgeman
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