Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma arrived on Thursday morning at the Waterkloof Air Force Base, east of Pretoria, for the third military veterans medals parade.
Zuma and former president Thabo Mbeki were scheduled to receive the so-called Platinum Class 11 Military Veterans Decorations, along with other veterans.
Zuma arrived at the ceremony before 11am but Mbeki was nowhere to be seen.
The president started off by conferring numerous medals.
ANC stalwart Winnie Mandela received the Military Veterans Merit Medal in Gold.
Presidential spokesperson Mac Maharaj was also on the list of those being bestowed with medals, but an announcer said Maharaj could not attend Thursday's awards ceremony.
Other medals conferred by Zuma on Thursday included the “military veterans sabotage campaign medals” and the “Luthuli commemorative medals”.
Zuma was greeted with a 21-gun salute and a fly-past by the SA Air Force.