According to Tony Edwards, WWII South African .303 British was manufactured by the South African Mint in either Pretoria or Kimberly, using U or U◊ as the manufacturer code on the HS. I’m not questioning Tony’s information.
Source: Edwards, A.O. Headstamp Guide .303 inch British Service Ammunition. 2011 (p. 124).
The round that I have in front of me was made in 1944 and should therefore have been made in the Kimberly factory. However, the diamond is missing from the HS.
All of my other Kimberly produced ammunition shows a decent space between the U and the diamond, that would lead me towards ruling out a broken bunter (even when considering the mark on the head). However, all of my Kimberly examples are full date rounds.
I wondered if some cases were produced in 1944 at Pretoria as they were gearing up to bring that factory back on line the following year? I think this is a long shot, especially production didn’t resume at Pretoria until September in 1945 but the only other thing I can think of is a simple mistake when the bunter was drawn up and made. I’d welcome any thoughts or comments?