INTERVIEW BETWEEN THE LONDON-BASED EXPATRIATE "SOUTH AFRICAN" NEWSPAPER AND ALAN HARVEY, ORGANISER OF THE SPRINGBOK CLUB
Alan Harvey: First of all let me take this opportunity of thanking the editors of South African for giving me the opportunity to tell your readers a little more about our organisation the Springbok Club, our activities, and the aims and objectives which we espouse.
South African newspaper: Who came up with the idea for this organisation? What was the motivation behind the Springbok Club?
AH: A number of our
leading members were closely involved with a
patriotic movement called the
Patriotic Forum in
SA: Why do you purposely promote and use the old SA flag or as you like to refer to it "the Real SA flag"?
AH: Many of us were
active members of the Durban
Parliamentary Debating Society ("The
Durban Parliament") during the 1980s. One of their guest
speakers was a man named Don Gilliat who was a
leading member of The Sons of England.
He moved a motion "That all attempts from whatever source to alter the
present design of the South African flag must be rejected out of hand"
- which was passed easily! All present at this sitting were
highly impressed by Mr Gilliat's presentation, and we
learnt a lot from it. The real South African flag took over two years
to design before its official adoption in 1927, and was agreed upon by a
non-political commission who held consultations with and obtained
agreement from ALL political parties. It was thus a completely neutral and
unifying flag which all South Africans could feel proud of - quite unlike
the present "underpants" design which was unilaterally imposed upon
the country by the ANC/NP alliance. South Africans fought against the scourge
of Nazism under this flag, against Communist aggression in
SA: What is the significance of the Springbok and name 'The Springbok Club'?
AH: After it was agreed to merge the White Rhino Club and the Rhodesian Forum a meeting was held outside The Clarence in Whitehall on 12 June 1996 in order to thrash out a name for the new united movement. After much discussion the term "Springbok" was decided upon as during "the good old days" Rhodesians and South-Westers, as well as South Africans themselves, were eligible to play for "The Springboks" in both rugby and cricket. It was also agreed that the term "Club" had a friendlier appeal than "association" or "movement" etc, and furthermore would emphasis that we were interested in more than solely politics.
SA: How many members does the club have?
AH: Like most organisations we never like to divulge membership figures. All I will say is that of late our membership has been rising well.
SA: What is the Club's vision?
AH: I think it will be best to answer this simply by quoting our aims and objectives as stated on our membership application form :-
i) To bring together those Southern Africans living in exile and others who support the aims and objectives of the organisation on a regular social and informative basis.
ii) To inform all those of a similar background still living in the African continent of our support for their rights and liberties, and our concern for the current dangers which they may be facing.
iii) To lobby the powers that be in the
outside world about the anarchic state of current day
SA: Is the Club racially motivated in anyway?
AH: It all depends upon your definition of "racially motivated". If you mean do we recognise and respect the various ethnic and cultural differences between peoples then the answer is yes. If you mean do we hate and oppose people just because of these differences then the answer is definitely No! Indians have attended our meetings on two separate occasions, and both were made most welcome. If a Black South African was to attend then similarly. Our only criteria is that all our supporters - of whatever colour - broadly support our aims and objectives.
SA: How is the Springbok Club related to the S.A.Patriot-in-Exile publication?
AH: S.A.Patriot-in-Exile is a private publication, but it goes without saying that it supports the Springbok Club editorially.
SA: How many subscribers/readers does the publication have?
AH: Alas I am not at liberty to divulge such confidential information.
SA: The Club features plenty of guest speakers. Prior to the talk by guest speaker, Group Captain Peter Petter-Bowyer, Chairman/Secretary of the Rhodesian Air Force Association, he remarked that the past is the only thing that is certain, the future will always be unpredictable. Why this affinity with the past?
AH: When the past (in the southern African context at any rate) was so self-evidently better than the present then surely there is nothing wrong with having an affinity with it? We must learn from the past in order to present a better vision for the future.
SA: During the question and answer time at your meeting on Saturday 29th of January you mentioned the �Battle may have been lost but the war was not over�, what did you mean by this?
AH: The battles to
preserve civilised rule (which of course was to the advantage of ALL races)
have been lost in
SA: Shortly after the ANC became the ruling power in 1994 your organisation did a flag rally. What was that all about?
AH: The Springbok badge was first worn by a South African rugby team whilst training at Richmond Athletic Ground in 1906 prior to the South African tour of the UK in that season. We therefore thought that Richmond Athletic Ground would be a good venue to stage our own small symbolic act of resistance to the incoming ANC-terrorist regime, particularly in view of the ANC's petty and vindictive hate campaign against the Springbok symbol. One very memorable incident happened whilst we were staging our flag-raising ceremony however. A complete stranger drove past and shouted out "it's good to see the old flag being flown again!". We never discovered who this man was, but he proved an inspiration to us all to carry on with our struggle.
SA: When your guest
speakers address people and you write articles you prefer to use old names like
SA: One of your guest speakers, Prof. David Marsland, the Director of Research in the Department of Health and Social Care at Brunel University, addressed a packed audience under the theme "Fighting for Freedom - fighting tough" where he laid specific emphasis on the threat posed by those who opposed the war against terrorism in Iraq and emphasized why it is so vital to Western interests that this war should be fought and won. Does the Springbok Club share his opinion?
AH: Although the Springbok Club only concerns itself
directly with Southern African matters, I think even so it would be
very difficult to find any of our members who did not agree 100% with Prof. Marsland on this issue! We from
SA: In July 2003 the Springbok Club was addressed by Mr. R.D.
Simpson who gave an account of South African history during the second part of
the last century. He highlighted the part played by Verwoerd and emphasized how
if the Verwoerdian vision had been carried through to
its true fruition
AH: I think one only has to observe the current chaotic and disintegrating situation in South Africa to obtain the answer to this - the chronic and escalating crime figures, the collapse of the health services, the free-fall of the economy, the decline in the education and transport systems, the constant power-cuts, the sadistic murder campaign against the farming community etc., etc., etc.. During Dr. Verwoerd's day ALL South African's enjoyed a far higher standard of life than they do today. Incomes in real terms were higher, everyone could travel in city centres and throughout the platteland in complete safety, babies were not being raped in the deranged belief that it cured AIDS, the Rand was an internationally-respected currency, employment was so high that labour had to be imported from neighbouring African states, power-failures were unknown, taxation for all was low - need I say anything more?
SA: When you (Alan) addressed the London branch of the Springbok Club in 2002 you gave an overview of South African history in the 1970's and 1980's and added how South Africa was forced to leave the British Commonwealth after Harold McMillan's notorious "Winds of Change" speech, which heralded an awful descent into barbarism right across Africa. What is meant by this?
AH: Again I
think one only has to observe what is happening throughout