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Robey Leibbrandt

Full name: Sidney Robert "Robey" Leibbrandt
Gender: Male
Born: January 25, 1913 in Potchefstroom, North West, South Africa
Died: August 1, 1966 in Ladybrand, Free State, South Africa
Country: RSA South Africa
Sport: Boxing


Robey Leibbrandt served in the South African Army and fought in the Second Boer War. When World War I broke out he was ordered to invade German Southwest Africa (now Namibia), but could not follow it morally, stating, “Germans should not wage war against Germans.” He received no further military promotions but later worked as a policeman and politician in Pretoria, where he was called Oom John (Afrikaans for Uncle Johannes).

Leibbrandt attended Grey College at Bloemfontein from 1924-30. As a boxer, he fought at the 1936 Olympics after winning a bronze medal as a light-heavyweight at the 1934 British Empire Games. He turned professional in early 1937 and in July 1937 became South African heavyweight champion. In June 1937 Leibbrant defeated Tiny de Swardt in 13 seconds (some say 11 seconds), considered the shortest fight in South African boxing history. He fought two bouts in 1949, after the war.

During World War II, Leibbrant worked as a Nazi spy and served in the Germany Army. Leibbrandt formed the Nasionaal Sosialistiese Rebelle, a rebel organization in South Africa. In December 1942 he was captured and arrested in Pretoria, and in March 1943 was sentenced to death for high treason. The sentence was eventually commuted that year to life imprisonment by General Jan Smuts, who knew the Leibbrandt family. In 1948, Daniel François Malan, leader of the newly victorious National Party, released Leibbrandt in an amnesty of war criminals. Leibbrandt left the prison and was greeted as a folk hero by many South African people.

Later in his life Leibbrandt remained politically active, starting the Anti-Kommunistiese Beskermingsfront (Anti-Communist Protection Front) in 1962. He also produced a series of pamphlets entitled Ontwaak Suid-Afrika (Wake up South Africa).


Games Age City Sport Event Team NOC Rank Medal
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Boxing Men's Light-Heavyweight South Africa RSA 4

Men's Light-Heavyweight

Games Age City Sport Team NOC Phase Unit Rank Date Result MR
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Boxing South Africa RSA Semi-Finals Match #2 2 1936-08-14 Michelot (FRA) , Leibbrandt (RSA)
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Boxing South Africa RSA Quarter-Finals Match #4 1 1936-08-13 Leibbrandt (RSA) , Havelka (TCH) decision
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Boxing South Africa RSA Round Two Match #8 1 1936-08-11 Leibbrandt (RSA) , Amin (EGY) decision
1936 Summer 23 Berlin Boxing South Africa RSA Round One Match #15 1 1936-08-10 Leibbrandt (RSA) , Johnsen (NOR) decision
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