1 January 1913|
Potchefstroom, South Africa
|Died||7 January 1966(aged 52)|
|British Empire Games|
|Bronze||1934 London||Light Heavyweight|
Sidney Robey Leibbrandt (25 January 1913, Potchefstroom – 1 August 1966), also known as "Robert Leibbrand", was a South African Boer of German and Irish descent who was an Olympic boxer and later an Abwehr member and fifth columnist for Nazi Germany.
Boxing career 
He also represented South Africa at the Berlin Olympics in 1936. He competed in the light heavyweight class. He was not able to fight the bronze medal bout to Francisco Risiglione and finished fourth.
He became South African heavyweight champion on 31 July 1937 in Johannesburg, beating Jim Pentz.
He returned to boxing in 1948, winning two fights.
Operation Weissdorn 
Following the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Leibbrandt returned to Berlin in 1938 to study at the Reich Academy for Gymnastics, and stayed on when war broke out. He joined the German Army, where he became the first South African to be trained as a paratrooper.
Admiral Wilhelm Canaris ordered Operation Weissdorn, a plan for a coup d'état to overthrow the government of General Jan Smuts, who had led South Africa into the Second World War on the side of the Allies. In June 1941, under the code name Walter Kempf, Leibbrandt was dropped on the Namaqualand coast north of Cape Town by a confiscated French sailboat under command of "Ghostsailor" (German: Geistersegler) and Abwehr asset Lieutenant "S"Christian Nissen aka Hein Mück, the Kyloe. He formed the Nasionaal Sosialistiese Rebelle drumming up support through fiery speeches and political campaigning, while secretly training members in bomb making. He also made contact with another pro-German movement, the Ossewabrandwag, but the leader, Johannes Van Rensburg, was unsympathetic.
Capture and imprisonment 
After a confrontation, he went on the run and evaded the police for some time, until he was eventually betrayed and captured, the arresting officer was Claude Sterley, a fellow Springbok Boxer who was, at the time a Sergeant in the South African Police.
He was armed at the time but did not resist his captures. The police arrested him in Pretoria.
In 1943 he was sentenced to death for high treason. Although Leibbrandt refused to give evidence at any stage in the trial, he claimed that he had acted "for Volk and Führer" and gave the Nazi salute when he first entered the court, to which several spectators responded. After being sentenced to death Leibbrandt shouted loudly and clearly "I greet death".
His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment by General Smuts on 11 March 1943. In 1948, Leibbrandt was released in an amnesty of war offenders by the newly victorious Nationalist government, which had opposed South Africa's entry into the war on the side of the Allies and wanted to remain neutral.
Later life 
Leibbrandt remained politically active in his later life, founding the organisation Anti-Kommunistiese Beskermingsfront (Anti-communist Protection Front) in 1962, and producing a series of pamphlets titled Ontwaak Suid-Afrika (Wake up South Africa). Leibbrandt was married and had five sons: Hermann, Remer, Izan, Rayna, and Meyder Johannes, he died in 1966.
Further reading 
Leibbrandt's autobiography, Geen Genade (No Mercy) was published in 1961, and later as Robey Leibbrandt Vertel Alles in "Geen Genade" (Robey Leibbrandt tells all in "No Mercy"). He was the subject of For Volk and Führer by Hans Strydom in 1983, later filmed as The Fourth Reich.
- "The Commonwealth Games". Retrieved 20 July 2006.
- "Boxing-Records". Retrieved 20 July 2006.[dead link]
- "SuperBoxing". Retrieved 20 July 2006.
- Alexander, Col McGill (December 1995). "Paratrooping Pioneer: David McCombe, South Africa's first serving paratrooper". Military History Journal, South African Military History Society 10 (2).[dead link]
- "S"=Lieutenant Special Leader, in the sense of special forces
- "Sidney Robey Leibbrandt 1913 - 1966". Leibbrandt Archive. Retrieved 20 July 2006.
- Bunting, Brian (1969). The Rise of the South African Reich. ISBN 0-14-041012-0.
- Whiteing, Charles (July 2002). "Robey Leibbrandt and Operation Weissdorn". The South African Military History Society KwaZulu-Natal Branch Newsletter (326).
- "List of Collections". University of the Free State Library. Retrieved 20 July 2006.