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 Durban during the 1980s. Alas many of us were early victims of "affirmative action" in the "new" South Africa during the 1990s, and were thus forced to leave the country. Surprisingly our magazine S.A.Patriot had a large readership in the UK, and many of these British supporters encouraged us to re-launch the magazine in this country, which we did in the form of S.A.Patriot-in-Exile. The magazine needed finance of course, so we therefore decided to found an organisational side to hold braais and other social get-togethers in order to raise funds. One of our British supporters suggested the name of the White Rhino Club (the same name as an earlier patriotic organisation in Durban) for this new social side to our endeavours, and the name just stuck - in spite of the fact that many of us regarded it as rather cranky. At much the same time we came into contact with a small group of ex-Rhodesians who had founded their own movement called the Rhodesian Forum. As many of your readers will probably know, there's a far larger expat Rhodesian organisation called Rhodesians Worldwide, so our colleagues behind the Rhodesian Forum decided that it was best not to "re-invent the wheel" and suggested that we merge the two organisations to form a new and stronger movement.


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 Korea, and against the insidious threat of international terrorism on our own borders. It should therefore never be abandoned. There is however a second more practical reason why we have adopted the real flag. The Rhodesians Worldwide organisation can identify exactly where they stand simply by using the word "Rhodesia", but there's no such similar "shorthand" for expat South Africans. By using the real South African flag everybody knows immediately what our stance is, and those who may oppose our aims and objectives (and alas we know that there are still many supporters of the ANC regime, even in exile) would not wish to join an organisation where they would not feel at home.


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 Southern Africa, and to advocate that steps be taken to restore civilised rule.


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 Rhodesia, SWA and South Africa itself. Having said this, however, the outside world is now at last waking up to the total evils of the ZANU-PF regime in "Zimbabwe", and we are strongly of the belief that very shortly it will be replaced by a far preferable form of administration. We predict that it then won't be too long before the outside world wakes up to the fact that the situation is rapidly becoming much the same in South Africa also (both ZANU-PF and the ANC after all have similar terrorist roots). When that day arrives and the present corrupt and incompetent regime crumbles then we will have won the war - but not only we alone will have won, but all of South Africa's peoples who are not on the ANC "gravy-train".


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 Rhodesia, Transvaal etc. Does this correspond with your strong feelings towards the current ruling governing bodies?


AH: Rhodesia was undoubtedly one of the greatest success stories of Africa. The nation rose from barren shrubs to become the bread-basket of Africa in a few short decades. Now, alas, this bread-basket has changed into the basket-case of "Zimbabwe". Rhodesia is a name which therefore can be mentioned with pride, whereas the name "Zimbabwe", in both senses, represents nothing more than a pile of ruins. We honestly can't understand why you term Transvaal an "old name" however. The current ridiculous provincial system of the "new" South Africa may have dropped the name as an entity, but it still lives on in numerous organisations - the Transvaal Agricultural Union for example.


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 Southern Africa know better than most about the evils and dangers of international terrorism, so therefore could appreciate more than most the necessity for the Western powers to overthrow the threatening Ba'athist regime in Iraq.


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 South Africa would today be an infinitely better country than it now alas is. Why is this?


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 Africa today to obtain an answer to this. It is not only South Africa which is now in such an anarchic and lawless state - the same applies, to a greater or lesser extent, to all African states. If the likes of McMillan had not abandoned their colonial duties during the 1950s and 1960s then the African continent would not have resumed becoming the "dark continent" which alas it is today. It is not only the White citizens and settlers of Africa who have suffered from the reneging of the Imperial responsibilities of the great European powers, but more particularly the poor native Africans themselves. In our own small way the Springbok Club is endeavouring to present an alternative and infinitely more hopeful vision for the future, which hopefully will help to create a far better Africa and a far better world in the days to come. We trust that all your readers who share this vision for a better tomorrow will attempt to make contact with us and to join our movement - for the stronger we become then the more chance we have of success.


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