by A.D.Harvey



I first emigrated to South Africa in 1976, and the main fundamental reason why I did this was because I wanted to express my solidarity with my kith and kin in both South Africa itself and in Rhodesia, and to try to “do my bit” to help their struggle.


Strange though it may seem, as events turned out I actually emigrated to the country too early, and not too late as more logically may seem to be the case. The first political organisation which I became actively involved with after obtaining my work permit in 1977 was the Save Rhodesia Campaign, and for the next two years I worked tirelessly trying to persuade South Africans to do their best to support their kith and kin north of the Limpopo. As we know, the great nation of Rhodesia fell in January 1979, and it then became obvious to me and to all other observers with any form of common sense that the onslaught against civilisation in Africa would now be targeted against South Africa itself. With the Save Rhodesia Campaign having closed down the day after the fateful Rhodesian Constitutional Referendum of 30th January 1979 I therefore had to look for a new political vehicle to work through in order to fight for the next stage of the struggle.


Although I had “flirted” with the New Republic Party (the successor to Jan Smut’s United Party) during my days with the Save Rhodesia Campaign, it soon became obvious to me that this party was far too “wishy-washy”, and if anything had become liberal by nature and wished to compromise with the forces of darkness. During my time of active involvement in the Save Rhodesia Campaign I had met several people who were members of the hardline HNP, and in spite of its image as an Afrikaans-only party most of these people had tended to be English-speakers. I went to an HNP meeting in Durban shortly after Rhodesia finally fell in 1980 and was greeted with nothing but friendship, in spite of he fact – or perhaps because of the fact – that I was an English-speaker. In spite of my misgivings about their Afrikaans-only policy they seemed to present the only meaningful opposition to the sell-out National Party government (who of course had stabbed Rhodesia in the back), so I therefore decided to join the HNP.


I also became involved in the foundation of a new Whites-rights organisation called the White Rhino Club in Durban at much the same time, and of course through this organisation the magazine S.A.Patriot was launched – and within a year and a half I found myself the editor of this publication. The HNP leadership gave me and the magazine nothing but encouragement, which also involved small but significant and vital financial backing.


In 1982, however, a new political party was founded by anti-sellout members of the NP – the Conservative Party of South Africa. This party, unlike the HNP, believed in a two-language policy and so was far more appealing to English-speakers. This is what I mean by stating that I emigrated to South Africa too early, for if I hadn’t emigrated until the early 1980s then I would naturally have gravitated to the CP where I would have felt far more at home. But by then it was alas too late, for the HNP’s financial support to S.A.Patriot had me over a barrel, and in any case an old fashioned thing called loyalty prevented me from making the natural move to the CP.


At that time the HNP’s effective leader in Durban was a man named Michiel Falck who clearly had the ear of the HNP leadership, and he was also the de facto assistant editor of S.A.Patriot. Michiel Falck seemed to have an almost paranoid hatred for the CP, and for one of their leading personalities in particular – Clive Derby-Lewis. Clive Derby-Lewis, a former leading NP MPC on the Transvaal Provincial Council, had emerged as the CP’s leading English-speaking spokesman, and his appearances on SABC began to impress me greatly. I therefore couldn’t really understand why Michiel Falck and apparently the HNP hierarchy had developed such an antagonistic attitude towards him. Michiel Falck (who always acted as the force in the background rather than an open leader) instructed me to veto Clive Derby-Lewis’s appearance at the big Action White Natal rally in the Durban City Hall in early 1986, which as I was then still a loyal HNP member I dutifully obeyed, and at much the same time the HNP leadership forwarded me a hard-hitting attack on him for my dear late wife to translate so that they could distribute it to their contacts in the outside world. These were actions which both of us came to regret greatly shortly afterwards.


I first met Clive Derby-Lewis in person when he addressed a meeting of the “Durban Parliament” (the Durban Parliamentary Debating Society) later during 1986, when he was introduced to me by my colleague on the Right-wing benches of the “Durban Parliament” Pat Mohr, the leader of the CP in Natal. There was something about the man’s demeanour and presence which immediately struck me and confirmed my initial impressions gained from his media appearances – I could tell that there was something special about him. His speech which followed only re-enforced this initial impression. He proved a natural orator – not in the “tub-thumping” sense, but with a calm and eloquent delivery. The context of his speech was also highly impressive. He had mastered his brief and knew exactly what he was talking about, and by so doing managed to persuade the majority of those present so that we won the motion easily.


It was almost two years before I met Clive again, when he came down to Durban to chair a meeting which I attended. In spite of the fact that he had only met me once before, and then only briefly some 18 months previously, he greeted me immediately with the words “Hello Alan”. Needless to say, to have remembered my name after only a single brief meeting so long ago impressed me greatly, and as we talked further I soon came to realise that all the poison which had been spread to me by certain HNP sources about him was a load of arid nonsense.


Shortly after this I did what I undoubtedly should have done several years previously, namely I resigned from the HNP and joined the CP (this decision having been made far easier by the fact that following their 1987 General Election disaster the HNP hierarchy had decided to play “footsie-footsie” with a cranky Afrikaans-only outfit, and as a result had stopped all their financial support to the “horrible English-language” S.A.Patriot!). Once in the CP, and particularly during the 1989 General Election campaign, I met Clive on several more occasions and got to know him a lot better. My initial impressions were only re-enforced more and more the closer I got to know him. He had charisma-plus, and was by nature a totally friendly, happy and positive person. He believed fully in the rightness of his cause, and was able to express his views succinctly and with an easy to listen to delivery style. He was constantly being interviewed on SABC as the CP’s main English-speaking spokesman, and as a result became the undoubted star of the CP’s campaign.


It should be remembered in this regard that although Clive had narrowly failed to win the Krugersdorp Constituency during the 1987 General Election he had immediately been appointed one of the CP’s Nominated MPs, and once in Parliament was rapidly appointed to the Shadow Cabinet, where he proved himself to be a brilliant and effective debater, and a real thorn in the side of the sellout NP government! I last met Clive during the Umlazi by-election in Durban during early 1990, just prior to being forced to leave South Africa. He played an active part campaigning in this by-election, when the CP came within an ace of winning a surprise and vital victory.


It is difficult to describe just what a well-known personality Clive was in South Africa. Regardless of whether one agreed with him or was an opponent of what he stood for everyone knew his name. When I heard that he had been arrested in connection with the elimination of the terrorist leader Chris Hani I simply couldn’t believe it, for surely nobody with his abilities and influence would have put their ongoing aims at risk by becoming involved with such a dramatic act. Subsequent revelations have however confirmed that he was definitely implicated, so I therefore can only come to the conclusion that for a man of such undoubted intellect and talents he must have been completely convinced that no other course of action was available.


In his funeral oration Adv. Paul Kruger implied that Clive was being lined up to become State President under a future CP government. I can think of nobody better – a man who had become the youngest ever commander of the Witwatersrand Rifles Regiment and had been awarded the John Chard Medal (the South African equivalent of the VC), and who although being a British-South African identified fully with the Afrikaner people. Clive’s ashes have evidently been scattered at a secret location in the Karoo. In years ahead, once civilized rule has been restored to that beleaguered land, this spot will become a site of pilgrimage for future generations of South Africans. Clive Derby-Lewis was a true South African hero whose name will be remembered for ever, whilst the pygmies who attacked him will be forgotten.


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