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Updated 1 September 2010


Warning to collectors who buy badges on internet auction sites.


Please check the Peter Garratt website on Rhodesian badges, it has a very good coverage of Rhodesian fakes.


Collectors of Koevoet and Rhodesian badges must be warned that they never wore metal arm flashes/shields at any time. The Koevoet and Rhodesian arm flashes/shields that turn up on eBay and other internet auctions sites are all recently made, so called commemorative badges, never worn. These, and many other arm flashes, South West African pocket flashes and Executive Outcomes pocket and beret badges are being reproduced in Pretoria. At least one trader on eBay, south*africa, lists them as commemorative, so you know what you are buying, but others deliberately avoid doing so and catch unsuspecting collectors.


I am happy to check photos of any badges that you want to buy before you bid on them.



9 April 2010

After receiving numerous emails from collectors recently, thanking me for these warnings of fakes being sold, and for pointing out fakes being sold by one of the sellers, MilitaryMadness, he contacted via email, see below:


----- Original Message -----

From: James MacKenzie

To: ME

Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 8:32 PM

Subject: Fakes Page


Hi Mike


Good to hear from you again, even if it is such a negative email.


I am surprised you find it a laughing matter, that so many fakes are being made and sold to innocent collectors in fraudulent sales, as an ex-policeman you should know that fraud is a crime.


I know enough about Executive Outcomes badges to know that the ones you are selling are fakes, and I have no reason to be jealous of your sales at all, I would rather sell ten original items than 100 fakes.  At least my clients are all friends of mine and happy with my transactions.


Best wishes


James D.N. MacKenzie
SAM - Southern Africa Militaria

----- Original Message -----

From: ME

To: James MacKenzie

Sent: Friday, April 09, 2010 8:18 PM

Subject: Re: Fakes Page




We are laughing at your jokes on this page:


You obviously don't know anything about flashes, particularly when it comes to the Executive Outcomes variety.

Or you are just severely jealous of our client base and ability to sell.


Stop being petty and get on with your own business. Or alternatively, just get out more instead of sitting in front of a computer all day nit-picking.


Thank you



----- Original Message -----

From: "James MacKenzie" <>

To: "M E" < >

Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 3:43 PM

Subject: Fw: James McKenzie


Dear ?

I will have to assume you are Mike Evert.

You are welcome to phone me on 021-------- if you want to.

Do you disagree that most of the items you are selling are newly made?  It has become so bad that collectors are emailing me links to your badges to show me the restrikes/copies/fakes you are selling.

Best wishes

James D.N. MacKenzie
SAM - Southern Africa Militaria
----- Original Message -----
From: "M E" < >
To: <>
Sent: Friday, December 11, 2009 1:19 PM
Subject: Re: James McKenzie

Just like it is only good manners to not use people's images on your website without their's or bidorbuy's consent, and trying to discredit products and sellers you know absolutely nothing about.


On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 10:02 GMT James MacKenzie wrote:

Dear ?

It is only good manners to put your name at the bottom of your emails.  I will only supply my phone number to a person whose name I know.


Best wishes

James D.N. MacKenzie
SAM - Southern Africa Militaria

----- Original Message -----
From: "M E" < >
To: <>
Sent: Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:09 PM
Subject: James McKenzie

To whom it may concern,

Is there a telephone number by which James McKenzie can be contacted?



I updated the fakes pages with some links to the fake items he was selling and shortly afterwards was emailed by one of the collectors caught by MilitaryMadness before to let me know that this seller had removed all his listings from Bid or Buy. I checked and confirmed this, and today, 13 December 2009, see he has relisted items with the word ORIGINAL in the listings of badges he claims to be originals.

This is an improvement, as in the past he did not attempt to let anyone know what they were buying from him, whether the item they have bought was an original or not, and has caught many collectors in this manner. Read the fine print notice in his listings, Originals are explicity stated as such in the auction listing's title. Should I state an item as being an original in the auction listing title, and you disagree, please feel free to ask me about it. My images are not to be used on other websites without my permission.

He is telling you that if he does not state an item is an original then it is not, even though he is not stating that it is a newly made copy/reproduction/fake, whatever you want to call it. It may be easier for all potential buyers if he was to list the fake items as such, in the title, a big FAKE, as he now puts ORIGINAL in the title, then collectors can see it straight away. I am told, that in the past, when buyers asked him if an item was original or not, he did not reply to them. It is nice that he is now inviting you to ask him about the items you are not sure/happy about, and hope that he will follow up and reply to your queries.


His new listings, as of 26 March 2010, he no longer puts in the above warning, telling you that it is a fake, unless otherwise stated, so it is back to outright fraud, selling something as an original when you know full well it is not.


His complaint to me, that I claimed he was selling fakes, he has now confirmed himself, by not listing those items as ORIGINAL, the very items I pointed out to collectors as being fake.


5 June 2010, he is again listing some of the items as Original, even though they are not, and others without stating Original next to the description, so I suppose you have to accept those are fakes, instead of just listing them as fakes or copies.


MilitaryMadness is by far not the only seller of fakes on Bid or Buy and eBay and I will shortly be adding more of these sellers names and links to their fake items being sold. If you are caught by any of these sellers please return the items bought, claim your money back, and leave negative feedback for them, explaining that they have sold you a fake badge. That way you are warning other potential collectors/buyers not to buy from these dishonest sellers. Do not support them, you are only encouraging them to make more fakes and catch more collectors. They are committing fraud by not telling you these are reproductions. What is the difference between a fake badge being sold as original or a fake painting being sold as an original? Why is it fraud to sell a fake painting as an original and not fraud for the fake badge, just because it is a cheaper item?


The full set of South African Medical Corps qualification breast badges for Doctors, Nurses, Ops Medics and the Special Forces Medics and Doctors have also been made and are being sold on Bid or Buy at present (These have now been removed). These are all difficult badges to find stock of, especially the SF Medic and Doctor. The Operator Medic badge, which is normally a bronze badge, has been made in bi-metal, please do not be caught by this supposedly new issue. They have even made the first pattern Special Forces Doctor badge, the large size one, not sure if in Sterling silver or base metal. All these medic badges are a lighter gold colour than the original issue items. I recently bought, also on Bid or Buy, a 1st pattern Special Forces Doctor badge with silver wings instead of gold wings, another fake. In most cases the gilt plating is either too dark or so light that you can hardly see it.


He now also is selling lots of the long obsolete South West African and Executive Outcomes flashes and badges, see links below. The Executive Outcomes badges are in colours never seen before, obviously made up by himself, in random colours and then identified as such and such a unit within Executive Outcomes.


When MilitaryMadness phoned me to complain about my listing his items as fakes he pleaded innocence, saying he is buying these badges and flashes from an old militaria shop owner who closed his shop down years ago and still has boxes of all these items stored in his garage, but he keeps coming up with new items each time. He also tells me his daughter is doing the listings and she does not know which are fakes.


See links below to this seller, who is also selling a range of the metal arm flashes, all in mint condition, all of which are long obsolete, and all recently made. (Some of these have now been removed)

This is no prototype, they only ever made cloth wings in this pattern, this is a figment of the sellers imagination.

This is a joke, a very RARE thin sole FAKE, and I find it difficult to understand that people are still bidding on these fakes, are they not reading his descriptions?

Never a prototype, originals only ever designed and made in cloth.


A way to spot who is selling fakes is to check who has the same, scarce, flashes and badges for sale, over and over. They tend to try to space it out over a month or two between sales, but keep watching and you will see a pattern develope. Many badges seen on Bid or Buy and eBay, that come up time after time, are rare badges that we do not see for sale in South Africa, but are being faked. If the originals were so easy to come by I would have them listed on my website too.


A few Bid or Buy culprits, in especially in the Durban area, have a large stock of most of the cloth Recce badges and list them all the time. These are not finished off as neatly as the originals and would never have passed the army authorities. Some of these sellers are the following: skeletonkey, Mrs brett2243 and zenpixie.

(Misprint, what a joke!!)

(This should be enamel, not Lucite)


32 Battalion collars and fake brass beret badges


I would like to warn collectors of another scam some crooked dealers are using with the more rare, numbered, special forces badges. They take copies/fakes and engrave over the back, where the number on an original item would be, to make it look as though a number has been erased. I have never heard of any Recce Operator or Combat Diver badges having their numbers erased because someone has left the force. Most ex-Recce/Special Forces members I have met still have their badges, with numbers still intact. There was a run of these badges made a few years ago, both blank and numbered, and I am sure it is these badges that are now having their number erased, or having a non-existent number erased. When the batch of Recce Operator badge fakes was made they made the mistake of numbering them upside down, so the numbers read the wrong way around. The S.A. Police Task Force Operator Badge is another badge that a run of fakes, numbered, was made.


This South West African Police Task Force arm flash is believed to be a wall plaque flash that has had pins fitted. When I visited the SWAPOL TF in 1986 they were only wearing cloth patches, no metal flashes. Also, this one has been made as a flash, has had pins fitted, and is a newly made flash with colours inverted. The writing, highlights and backing should all be in brass and the black and yellow details should the other way around, that is the hyenas should be black, and all the yellow sections of the diamond should also be black and the black sections yellow. This badly made fake South West Africa Specialist Unit is another newly made fake on the market.




Other badges being reproduced are the 32 Battalion beret and collar badges in both brass, supposedly 1st issue, and in chromed metal. There were never any brass 32 Battalion badges worn, they were an infantry battalion and wore chromed badges like all other infantry badges. A couple of these badges came out of the factory without being chromed and unfortunately ended up in a book on South African badges, listed as 1st issue. This has led some unscrupulous traders to have both non-chromed and chromed badges made up. There is also a complete set of 32 Battalion flashes, full size, pocket size and affiliation pocket fob size in metal being reproduced, as well as their Company flashes, which were never made or worn during their existence. Also, the 32 Battalion Association has had beret badges made up for members who have lost their badges over the years. These are castings and each one is numbered.



Here are some fakes/reproductions that sacollect is selling, along with many others, he also trades on eBay as quinton_collectables

Recce Operator badges and combination Operator/Combat Diver badges in cloth are also being faked. These are fairly easy to spot because the handle of the combat knives are very wide and bulge to one side. Most of these also have a plastic backing to the badge. A new set of fakes of the Operator and combination Operator/Combat Diver badges had just appeared on the market, see copied below. These are more accurately made. The Warrant Officer of the Special Forces rank badges are being faked in both black background and maroon background, both embroidered in fine lurex wire. The Junior Recce wings are also being faked, see an example of one below.




These Recce cloth beret badges below are also fakes. Another one that came up on Bid or Buy is an all gold Lurex badge. The black and green Infantry beret bar, or balkie, is also a newly made fake, made with a Lucite covering when it should be proper enamel. This Recce beret bar, only ever made in Lucite, is also a newly made fake.


More cloth Recce tracksuit and other patches are being faked as well. Below are the 1 Recce, 2 Recce and 4 Recce fake tracksuit badges with Lurex wire borders. The Pamwe Chete patch is very close to the original but has a wider blade and handle of the dagger and the yellow inside the snakes mouth is too orange, should be yellow. The 5 Recce Church patch is on a maroon background and it should be purple, and the white teeth are not as long as the originals.

1 Recce tracksuit2 Recce tracksuit4 Recce tracksuitimage046.jpgimage048.jpg

This Recce shirt on Bid or Buy is a made up item, with the Operator Award on the wrong side, should be on the right breast.


The plastic embossed on nutria flashes, or tupperware flashes, as they are commonly known, are also being reproduced.

So far I have seen 1 and 5 Recce, both with the compass rose colours back to front; all the 32 Battalion and all three 61 Mechanised Battalion Group flashes, as well as the S.A. Police Air Wing and Task Force flashes, in both blue and green back grounds, as well as some of the Koevoet flashes. With the Recce flashes you will see that the top command bar is not aligned with the flash itself, something that would never have been passed by authorities.



This 1 Parachute Battalion arm flash, on the left is an original.  Compare it to the fake one in this listing:



The fake has the design too low down on the nutria backing, the gap between the red Command above and the flash below is not even, wider on the left than on the right, and the top section, where the epaulette feeds through, is much wider than the original. The flash on the right, above, was never designed by 1 Para Bn.  They changed from the green background with yellow and black border straight to the maroon with yellow border.


These SAP Dog Unit and Special Task Force arm flashes are also newly designed and made commemorative flashes, not official issue items.



These Vlakplaas Police parachute wings are also the figment of someones imagination, along with the Night Jumper S.A. Army parachute wings. Every paratrooper has to do night jumps to qualify for his parachute wings, why would there be a night jumper wing, does this paratrooper only jump at night?


The Mechanised Infantry metal beret flash, or balkie, is also being reproduced in both the 1st pattern green/yellow/black and the 2nd pattern green/black/green, both with the Ratel too far to one side, not centred. The 61 Mechanised Battalion cap badge is also being reproduced. Also the set of 31 Battalion badges below. Again, check who is selling these badges and flashes and check the rest of their items. Look at the brilliant white in the flashes.




Do a search on closed lots on these items, and you will quickly see who is selling them, and the amount that have passed through their hands over the last few months, far too many rare badges for one man to turn up.


Below are some faked metal arm flashes and pocket fob badges. The originals all have the compass rose and whatever design goes above pressed out into the metal. All these decals on metal backings are fakes. The first indication of a newly made arm flash is the brilliant white, which, on the original, old flashes, fairly quickly turned to a light ivory colour. I am told that some sellers are now putting these arm flashes into their oven and warming them up to make the white more the ivory colour.




Not only the special forces, recce and para arm flashes have been reproduced, even the old Commando units as well, again, see how very white the white is in the flashes, all in mint condition, even though these units are now long disbanded.


These 45 Parachute Brigade arm flashes are also fakes, not prototypes, as many sellers list them. Never officially made by the army. One of these, shown below, is just a copy of the old 1st pattern 2 Recce arm flash and has had the colours changed. Also, 2 Recce changed their design before the Recces became 45 Parachute Brigade or Special Forces.



Whoever is making the flashes must have a contact inside the factory that made flashes for the army as some are made with the original dies, but they seem not to be able to get the colours right. With this 1 Para arm flash, below, left, the green is the wrong shade of green. They are also making the maroon range of 44 Para arm flashes, also with the wrong shade of maroon, more a dark brown/maroon, as well as the whole range with either a red background or a black background, neither of which were ever worn. They are also making the three Company arm flashes, Dispatcher, Anti-Tank and Pathfinder, in the off shade of maroon, in red and in black. Please do not be fooled by these. The only red background para arm flash worn was the first pattern 3 Para ones.



A new fake para wing I have seen for sale is the 1960s to early 1970s cloth wings, see copied below. This should not have an embroidered edge and the blue feathers in the middle of the wings should be feather shaped, not an embroidered ridge like around the top of the wings. Also two 1 Parachute Battalion beret badges being faked.



A seller on eBay, is selling these wings as Rhodesian Light Infantry para wings, as well as these fake 1 Parachute Bn and South West Africa Parachute Bn beret badges and this 6 Recce patch. 6 Recce never wore any patch like this at any stage, can you imagine an ex-SAS soldier wearing the SAS badge upside-down? He also sells fakes of most of the Rhodesian Brigade patches, the buffalo, elephant, rhino and lion and this Congo Mercenary 10 Commando patch.



Below is a fake of the Rhodesian Police Emergency Unit, the Rhodesian SWAT unit, on the left, and an original on the right.

image142.jpg image144.jpg


This fake Selous Scouts badge, below, is being sold on eBay by hogspear. Below is the email I sent them, with their reply.



----- Original Message -----


From: eBay Member: s.a.militaria


Sent: Saturday, February 28, 2009 18:37

Subject: {Disarmed} You've received a question about your eBay item, Dealer's Military Badges.A.Selous Scouts. Ref UTR


eBay sent this message to JamesD.N. MacKenzie (s.a.militaria).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. Learn more.

This member has a question for you.



Dear hogspear,

Dear Sir, As a collector of Rhodesian special forces badges for the last 35 years I feel I should let you know, and you should let any potential buyers know, that this is not an original badge. The original badges were either in sterling silver for Officers or in annodised "staybright" metal for other ranks. Best regards, James MacKenzie, Southern Africa Militaria

- s.a.militaria


----- Original Message -----


From: eBay Member: hogspear


Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 1:14

Subject: {Disarmed} Re: s.a.militaria has sent a question about item #120384737310, ending on Mar-09-09 12:33:00 PDT - Dealer's Military Badges.A.Selous Scouts. Ref UTR            

eBay sent this message to JamesD.N. MacKenzie (s.a.militaria).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. Learn more.

Seller has responded to your question about this item



Dear s.a.militaria,

Thanks for the message, James. Buyers can draw their own conclusion from the clear pictures and we have a 100% refund policy if people aren't happy. Regards, Jenny

- hogspear

----- Original Message -----


From: eBay Member: s.a.militaria


Sent: Sunday, March 01, 2009 11:34

Subject: {Disarmed} You've received an answer to your question about item Dealer's Military Badges.A.Selous Scouts. Ref UTR


eBay sent this message to JamesD.N. MacKenzie (s.a.militaria).
Your registered name is included to show this message originated from eBay. Learn more.

Buyer has responded to your question about this item



Dear hogspear,

Hi Jenny, Good to make contact with you. If the buyer does not know it is a fake you, as the seller, should warn then. Anyway, that is how I feel about it. Best wishes, James


freedomfifty2k on eBay is selling these fakes below. He states, I purchased a very large collection of military, SCUBA Diving, Police & Fire Department and Scouting patches and badges from a US Navy Chief that served for 27 years including 2 tours of duty in Vietnam and spent most of his time in the military based in Asia. He pointed out that during the Vietnam War some of the Vietnam items were locally made in either Vietnam, Thailand, Philippines, Japan, Guam and Korea., but these are all modern made fakes. If you watch his listings long enough you will see the same badges appear time after time.




This seller, Michael J. Allsopp, trading as "michael34810", "avril390", "sunshine_x10", "simone10_16", "jr-st", eBay stores JRs Store, CAPBADGE & MEDALS4U, email address, sells fakes/repros/castings, and hides the fact that you are buying a "copy" after the description of the item he is selling, and not in the description itself, where most decent people would list it. I bought a Rhodesian General Service Medal from him. His description read "IN GOOD ORDER MAY NEED CLEANING SIZE IS 5CM STAMPED ON RIM 725572 A/CPL K. BOTHMA". Any medal that has a name stamped on the rim should be original. He did not state that this is a casting and that the name is on the rim because it is cast in, not stamped in. Half way down his payment methods he states, "IF NOT STATED AS GENUINE IN TITLE THE ITEM IS BEING SOLD AS COPY OR RESTRIKE OR WHATEVER YOU WISH TO CALL ITEM, ALSO NOTE ITEM IS MADE FROM UNKNOWN BASE METAL APROX AGE 1900-1999". He is now also selling castings of the Selous Scouts beret badge and had a casting of a Selous Scouts Rhodesian General Service Medal listed on eBay. Something he does is have most of his lots as "Private Listings". I was also not able to leave feedback for some reason. Avoid this seller.


Another one to avoid, eBay user name cunnard, who sells patches, para wings and shoulder titles "bought in the early 1950s", is Alan Wilkie, email address, of 69 Kindle Lane, Levittown, PA 19055, USA. After me querying whether these are original items again, and even though all the items I bought are WWII period items, he replies that "patches are not advertised as ww2 original patches". Read his descriptions carefully. Do an eBay search on his user name and see his stock, 99.9% fakes, made mostly in India. He regularly lists these fake LRDG shoulder titles. This seller seems to be selling under the name of westderbyrdliverpool6 now, many of his photos on eBay still have the name cunnard on them.



Something pointed out to me is this "Extreme Makeover" of a Queens Crown RAF pilot wings, eBay lot 290146551061 bought on 12 August 2007 by gayt1, converted into "A very rare double wing Air Gunner brevet from World War Two.", eBay lot 260150944166, listed by the same gayt1. Listing closed on 24 August 2007, reserve not met.




Look at the "dip" in the right hand wing and the missing cotton on the bottom right hand wing tip/feathers, also, on the "AG makeover" you can actually see the holes where the old black stitches were on the reverse when you compare it to the original in the top photo. He seems to have taken some of the padding out from behind the Crown and "stretched" higher to make it look like an older Crown.


Koonin2006, on eBay, is selling fake, typical Pakistan manufactured, Canadian SAS badges.  Koonin states - I am constantly asked if I have any of these badges for sale from buyers around the world. They are extremely hard to find, so when they are found and listed it is an opportunity not to be missed. I take pride in bringing The Uncommon, The Hard to Find, The Unusual and often The Rare to the incredible eBay Market. An inordinate amount of time, effort, travel, money and an ever-growing network of suppliers have all combined to make this possible. I find, bring, research, photograph and describe a vast array of items and present them for your collecting pleasure. It does not take so much time, effort nor money to order these fakes from Pakistan.



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