The Springbok Club (SC), also known as the Empire Loyalist Club (ELC), is a far-right neo-imperialist organisation based in London which has used the apartheid-era South African flag as its logo.
Journalist Johann Hari described it as a “small, sinister group of British-based South African and Zimbabwean exiles” that “regards itself as the shadow white government of South Africa”. The Club’s founding principles declare that it wishes to take steps to restore “civilised rule” to the African continent, which may be a reference to the end of white supremacy in southern Africa.
- 1 History
- 2 Views
- 3 Activities
- 4 People
- 5 Publications
- 6 Affiliations
- 7 Notes
According to anti-racist magazine Searchlight, the Springbok Club was founded on 12 June 1996 through a merger of the White Rhino Club (WRC) (II) - itself founded in London in 1992 and the successor to the Durban-based WRC (1) – and the Rhodesian Forum, which was set up in London in the late 1980s by Kevin Puttock.
Africa, Race and the British Empire
According to Hari, the founder of the Springbok Club is a former member of the neo-fascist National Front, and has said:
- "In a nutshell our policy can be summed up in one sentence: we want our countries back, and believe this can now only come about by the re-establishment of civilised European rule throughout the African continent."
Hari may have been referring to Alan Harvey, who chaired the organisation in 2013 and was a member of the National Front between 1974 and 1975. He has reportedly described the Springbok Club in the following terms:
- "We see ourselves as the nucleus of the South African resistance movement in exile”. 
The Club’s website reportedly reproduced the infamous 1980s “Hang Nelson Mandela” poster.
According to blogger Richard Bartholomew, the Northern Ireland Springbok Club’s website introduced itself with the following message:
- “Welcome To The Northern Ireland Springbok Club Where the British Empire Lives On!”
- “It’s wrong that blacks are coming to Northern Ireland…I couldn’t care less if people call me a racist. I couldn’t care less what they think. Apartheid meant the black man was better treated and respected. Immigration is a recipe for trouble. It shouldn’t happen anywhere. Each to their own. Other races should have their own schools, hospitals and buses.” 
The British High Commission has accused the club of spreading "hate literature".
Marking imperial anniversaries
The Club hold events to celebrate Empire Day, Rhodes Day, Trafalgar Day, Rhodesian UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) Day and the Day of the Vow.
In November 2001, right-wing historian Andrew Roberts was guest of honour at a Springbok Club dinner held to mark the anniversary of Rhodesia's unilateral declaration of independence, a rejection of international pressure to enfranchise black people. The Club's website gave the following account of the event:
- The Springbok Club held a most successful dinner to mark UDI Day in November 2001, when we were most honoured to welcome Mr. Andrew Roberts, the acclaimed historian and author, as our guest of honour. Mr. Roberts gave an inspiring after-dinner speech in which he outlined the history of 19th century British colonial expansionism and the foundation of Rhodesia, detailing the events which made UDI inevitable in 1965, and bringing the story up to date by reminding everyone of the disasters of modern-day Zimbabwe. He finished his speech by proposing a toast to the Springbok Club, which he said he considered the heir to previous imperial achievements.
Roberts' attendance was strongly criticised by journalist Johann Hari:
- When I first pointed out this connection, Roberts said he gave a "historical speech", hadn't realised the Springbok Club was a racist organisation, and didn't recall anyone saying anything racist. Wasn't the apartheid flag, and the fact they were there specifically to celebrate the anniversary of a white supremacist declaration, a hint? 
In July 2004, Professor David Marsland, the Director of Research in the Department of Health and Social Care at Brunel University and a “patron” of Anglican Friends of Israel, spoke at the club and delivered a speech which began:
- "We British – including the whole Anglophone diaspora – are slow to anger. But given sufficient provocation, we kick the hell out of everyone in sight. This is our tradition. It is a good tradition which has served the world well. It has been subverted in recent decades by communist propaganda, utopian dreams, and humanitarian fantasies. My aim in this paper is to repair, defend and justify our tradition of ruthless action on behalf of freedom. I take my text from an American prisoner of war in Japan. “When I heard we dropped a bomb on Hiroshima,” he said, “I thought, great – let’s drop ten more”.
Marsland ended his speech with a series of authoritarian, if not fascistic, recommendations including calls for summary executions, indefinite secret detention, racial profiling, ethnically segregated flights, mass deportations, surveillance of Muslims and censorship of the press, including the following calls:
- Introduce compulsory electronic ID cards, beginning with recent immigrants, asylum seekers, anyone with a criminal record and the unemployed…Failure to produce an ID on demand to be punishable by six months in prison without appeal.
- Withdraw immediately from all international treaties and agreements, including all aspects of so-called international law, which might be used by the enemy to impede national self-defence
- Immediately halt all immigration, asylum seeking, and student entry by Arab nationals and other Moslems. Identify, arrest and deport Arab and other Moslem illegals. No appeals to be allowed.
- Halt or segregate air flights into or out of Britain by Arabs.
- Transfer to the defence budget, and to the war against terrorism specifically, all the public expenditure currently squandered by the billions of pounds on welfare for derelicts, no-hopers, unemployables and moral delinquents…
- Strengthen surveillance of Moslem communities throughout Britain – with no limitation of targets to self-avowed and known “extremists”
- Strengthen anti-terrorist legislation to allow on suspicion indefinite secret imprisonment (without appeal, without visits and without any privileges), tough interrogation, and where necessary summary execution by authorised agents.
- In Iraq and other anti-terrorist battle-fields, forget “hearts and minds”. The enemy are heartless and of low mentality. Build up allied and local forces and unleash them mercilessly until the enemy is wiped out.
- Rather than risk rescue, suicide or future political concessions, summarily execute Saddam and his top henchmen immediately.
- Reduce the need for prisons in Iraq by authorising summary execution of known enemy. Throw journalists, servicemen or anyone else who seek to file lying and negative reports about conditions in terrorist prisons in Iraq or elsewhere into these same prisons for an indefinite term.
- Censor prejudiced and negative reporting of the war against terrorism by British media. Neutralise by military means any Arab media providing a propaganda outlet for terrorists.
Marsland was also scheduled to speak at the Springbok Club in 2008.
In late March 2007, barrister and security consultant Michael Shrimpton gave a talk to the Springbok Club/Empire Loyalist Club which lamented the passing of the 'old' South Africa. After interviewing Shrimpton for TheLawyer.com, journalist Fiona Callister wrote of him:
- Now here's the funny thing about Shrimpton: he constantly comes out with statements that you thought no one believed anymore…before I can relax into liking him, I have to deal with the nagging worry that Shrimpton's views make him, well, racist.
Other guest speakers have reportedly included:
- Bob Vinnicombe, of the Australian anti-immigrant One Nation Party
- Neil Hamilton former Minister and Conservative Party MP, now with UKIP who spoke in front of an apartheid-era South African flag.
- The Earl of Burford
- Anthony LoBaido, of the Internet-based news service WorldNetDaily
- Robert Henderson, controversial cricket writer
- Dennis Delderfield, National Chair of the New Britain Party.
- Jacques Arnold, former Conservative Party MP for Gravesham and a former Home Office minister.
- W. Denis Walker, former Rhodesian cabinet minister and Secretary of The Monday Club.
- Andrew Hunter, formerly Conservative Party MP for Basingstoke.
- Frank Maloney, (now Kellie Maloney), boxing manager and official UKIP candidate at the 2004 London mayoral elections.
- Sir Robert Peliza, the former Chief Minister of Gibraltar. 
In addition, the Northern Ireland Branch of the Springbok Club held a special meeting to celebrate the achievements of the British Empire in June 2004, where the guest speaker was the Rev. Martin Smyth, the Ulster Unionist Party MP for Belfast South.
In June 2016, after 52-year-old Thomas Mair was charged with the murder of British Labour MP Jo Cox, it emerged that Mair was mentioned in a Springbok Club newsletter from 2006. It described him as “one of the earliest subscribers and supporters of S.A.Patriot”, the magazine published by the club. However, it also suggested that his connection with the Club had ended prior to 2006. A statement was issued by S.A. Patriot editor Alan Harvey stating that Mair had been a subscriber in the 1980s but dissociating the Club from Mair.
Harvey's claim that the club had "no further contact with him after a brief correspondence in the mid 1980s" was contradicted by the emergence of two letters by Mair published in South African Patriot in Exile 1991 and 1999. He states that he was introduced to the magazine by the British National Front, rails against "collaborators" and "traitors" and concludes "I still have faith that the White Race will prevail, both in Britain and in South Africa, but I fear that it's going to be a very long and very bloody struggle".
In court, Mair gave his name as "death to traitors, freedom for Britain". Neo-Nazi regalia was found in his house by police and witnesses to the murder alleged that he shouted either “put Britain first” or “Britain First”, possibly a reference to the far-right political party. The Southern Poverty Law Center published receipts it said showed Mair had more recently supported the US neo-Nazi group National Alliance.
- Alan Harvey reportedly chaired the Springbok Club in 2013 and edited South African Patriot or “S.A. Patriot” magazine between 1980 and 1987. He was formerly a member of the National Front.
- Bill Binding - deputy head of the British Ku Klux Klan who in 1997 stood as a BNP parliamentary candidate in Dagenham, east London, was reportedly described as "a former dedicated member” on the official Springbok Club website when he died in November 2007.
Northern Ireland section
- South African Patriot in Exile magazine (from 1991) formerly South African Patriot or S.A.Patriot (1980-1987), published by the original Durban-based White Rhino Club (I). Its editorial stance was originally described as including support for “Separate Racial Development” and “Global White Leadership”.
- Springbok Cyber Newsletter, said to have a circulation of 390 in 2002.
- The dark side of Andrew Roberts, The Independent, 31 July 2009, accessed 13 January 2013
- Simon Usborne, Neil Hamilton and the club that wants 'civilised rule' restored in South Africa, The Independent, 11 June 2014
- Ultra-right conservative and quasi-patriotic organisations active in Britain, Searchlight, 1 January 2013
- Swinton Circle Schism Saga Bartholomew’s Notes, 20 November 2008
- Swinton Circle Spat Sequel, Bartholomew’ Notes, 28 August 2008
- Sprinbok Has Sprung, Bartholomew’s Notes, 8 March 2006
- Springbok Club, Wikibin, n.d., accessed 17 June 2016
- http://www.europeanknightsproject.com/alan-harvey-springbok-club-searchlight-zionist-shill-swinton-promotes-south-african-genocide/, accessed 21 June 2016
- The Springbok Club, accessed 20 June 2016.
- Thundering Silence, 24 April 2006, accessed 20 June 2016
- Fighting for Freedom, Fighting Tough Springbok Club Archives, accessed 20 June 2016
- Master of the Black Arts to Spear at Springbok Club Bartholomew’s Notes, 16 December 2007
- Fiona Callister Worlds Apart, TheLawyer.com, 11 March 2002.
- Official Swinton Circle Holds Joint Event with Springbok Club, Bartholomew’s Notes, 25 October 2008
- Kim Sengupta, Jo Cox death: Suspect linked to far-right political group that campaigned against the EU, The Independent, 16 June 2016
- Here’s What We Know About the Man who was Arrested After the Killing of Jo Cox MP, Buzzfeed, 16 June 2016
- Alex Amend, Here Are the Letters Thomas Mair Published in a Pro-Apartheid Magazine, Southern Poverty Law Centre, 20 June 2016
- Jo Cox murder suspect tells court his name is 'death to traitors, freedom for Britain', The Guardian, 18 June 2016
- Alleged Killer of British MP was Longtime Suporter of Neo-Nazi National Alliance, Southern Poverty Law Center, 16 June 2016
- Hugh Muir, Diary, Guardian, 21 October 2008
- Springbok-Swinton Saga Staggers On, Bartholomew’s Notes, 31 December 2008
- Swinton Circle Spat second Sequel, Bartholomew’s Notes, 21 October 2008