Harvey Ward

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Harvey Ward, right, in conversation with Zygmunt Szkopiak

Harvey Grenville Ward (1927 — 1995) was Director-General of the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation,[1] noted for his anti-communism and for his support for Ian Smith's government in Rhodesia and South Africa. He was a leading member of the Conservative Monday Club.

Biography[edit]

Background[edit]

Ward was born in Southern Rhodesia to an English father and a South African mother, his parents settled in Africa and were engaged in enterprises such as the financing of railway construction and the building of numerous hotels. They Managed the Victoria Falls Hotel until 1937, he chose a career in journalism starting with the Cape Argus and then becoming a specialist in African journalism covering the great social upheavals of the late 1950s and 60's for Reuters. He then settled in Salisbury and became Head of News Services at the Rhodesia Herald, eventually becoming Director-General of the Rhodesian Broadcasting Corporation which, in effect, put him in charge of government propaganda. Ward is said to have removed references to black sporting achievements from sports programmes carried on state television.[2]

Exile[edit]

Following an armed insurrection, several years of negotiations, and finally the imposition of sanctions by South Africa at the behest of The West, the Smith administration was replaced by African majority rule in 1979. Ward described this as "the betrayal of western nations to their own kind." As a prominent supporter of the Smith administration, Ward was forced to leave Zimbabwe. He and his family moved to South Africa and advised the white minority government there on avoiding international economic sanctions.

Anti-communism[edit]

At the Western Goals Institute's 'El Salvador' Dinner, London, September 25, 1989. L to R: Denis Walker, Lord Sudeley, El Salvador's Foreign Minister, Andrew Smith (yellow tie), and Harvey Ward (leaning forward).

Subsequently, Ward served as a political adviser to many African leaders and was involved in international intelligence, his watch-word became "dedicated to fighting communism" and he traveled worldwide, lecturing on counter-insurgency and terrorism. He described the Soviet Union as run by "gangsters" and totally untrustworthy.

He supported the anti-communist revolts in the former Soviet Bloc saying that it was "a simple matter of good versus evil." In Africa, Ward saw no hope. "Africa is the most exploited of all the continents, and it will stay that way. There has never been any peace in Africa, and I see no end to tribal conflict, spreading of diseases and other plagues," he said.

Monday Club[edit]

Ward was an overseas member of the Conservative Monday Club and found himself the center of a minor sensation on July 26, 1977 when immigration officials at Heathrow Airport held him for seven hours, before formally refusing him permission to enter Britain and placing him aboard another plane to Munich. He was due to address a meeting of the Africa Committee of the Monday Club at the House of Lords, organized by the former Conservative Party MP Harold Soref on the 29th, and visit family in Gloucestershire. On being asked why entry had never been refused on previous journeys to Britain by Ward, a Home Office spokesman said "I don't know, it may have been a mistake or oversight." Formal protests were made to the Home Office by Tory Members of Parliament (MPs) John Biggs-Davison, Sir Patrick Wall, and Teddy Taylor.[3]

In 1982 he wrote an article entitled Zimbabwe Today for the Monday Club's journal, Monday World, prophetic in its content,[4] his wife died in 1986 and he moved to Great Britain. Three of his four children remained in South Africa.

At the October 1988 Conservative Party Conference, Western Goals (UK) (which Ward had also joined) held a fringe meeting on the subject of "International Terrorism - how the West can fight back". Harvey Ward, Sir Alfred Sherman, Rev Martin Smyth, MP, and Andrew Hunter, MP, were the speakers. The latter spoke concerning top-level links between the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA) and African National Congress (ANC).[5]

In 1989 Ward was working for James Gibb Stuart at Ossian Books Ltd. in Glasgow. He continued to travel and lecture, and joined the Conservative Party.

He became an active member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Conservative Monday Club, and by 1990 was a member of the Club's Executive Council.[6]

Character assassination[edit]

In 1991 Ward is claimed to have worked in conjunction with South African security policeman Paul Erasmus to secretly leak false accusations against Winnie Mandela and her daughters, accusing them of being nymphomaniacs and drug abusers, the reports were described as having come from dissidents in the African National Congress, and were issued in an effort to divide the ANC's leadership. They were subsequently taken up by papers such as The Independent, the Sunday Times and Vanity Fair. Erasmus later acknowledged profound regret for his actions in this and other matters, and affected a reconciliation with Mandela, he claimed Ward's role in the propaganda campaign during the late 1990s,[7] but only after Ward had died.

Death[edit]

In the early 1990s Ward's fourth child Rowena, who had been in the British Police Service returned to live in South Africa and Ward followed, taking up residence in Port Elizabeth with his son, Harvey and his daughter in law Kathy, his last public engagement was speaking at the Robbie Burns Society in Port Elizabeth in March 1995. One month later had a heart attack during a game of bowls, and died.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monday World, journal of the Conservative Monday Club, October 1982, vol.2, no.5, p.2
  2. ^ The Herald, Harare, Zimbabwe, April 6, 1999.
  3. ^ The Daily Telegraph, and the Daily Mail, both on July 27, 1977.
  4. ^ Monday World, October 1982, vol.2, no.5, p.2 - 3.
  5. ^ Young European Newsletter, December 1988 edition, published by Western Goals (UK), London.
  6. ^ Monday Club News, January 1991, p.2.
  7. ^ Irish Times, March 27, 1999
  • Young European Newsletter, December 1988 edition, published by Western Goals (UK), London.
  • Neosho Daily News Missouri, U.S.A., July 19, 1990, where a major interview and article appear.
  • Ward, Harvey, Sanctions Buster, Glasgow, 1982. ISBN 0-85335-251-8. (Semi-autobiographical).
  • Ward, Harvey, "The Falklands Factor", Settle Press, UK 1988 ISBN 0-907070-47-7.