SAS Mendi (F148) is the last of four Valour class frigates for the South African Navy.
They were manufactured by the European South African Corvette Consortium (ESACC), consisting of the German Frigate Consortium (Blohm+Voss, Thyssen Rheinstahl and Howaldtswerke Deutsche Werf), African Defence Systems (part of the French Thales defence group) and a number of South African companies.
The ships were built to the MEKO modular design concept, and are designated by the manufacturer as the MEKO A-200SAN class. Some controversy exists as to the class type of the vessel, with both the manufacturer and the South African Navy referring to it as a corvette, but other similar vessels in other navies being referred to as frigates. It has been claimed by some that the use of the word corvette was a political decision made by the South African government to ease criticism of the procurement of the vessels.
As with all the other ships of the Valour class, the Mendi is named after a famous South African battle or instance of great valour. In this case the sinking of the SS Mendi in the English Channel during World War I. On the 23 August 2004, en-route from the shipyards to South Africa, the SAS Mendi and the HMS Nottingham (D91), a Type 42 destroyer, met at the site where the SS Mendi sank and lay wreaths in remembrance to those who died in service for their country
The commanding officer of the Mendi is Captain Jimmy Schutte.