Helen Suzman

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Suzman, Helen,

1917–2009, South African politician and anti-apartheidapartheid
[Afrik.,=apartness], system of racial segregation peculiar to the Republic of South Africa, the legal basis of which was largely repealed in 1991–92. History
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 activist, b. Helen Gavronsky, grad. Univ. of Witwatersrand (1940). The daughter of Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, she taught at her alma mater (1945–52) and was elected (1953) to parliament as a member of the opposition United party. Unhappy with the party's tolerance of racial segregation, she helped found (1959) the liberal Progressive party. Fearless and outspoken in debate and the only member of her party in parliament from 1961 to 1974, Suzman was long the lone voice in parliament openly opposed to apartheid. In 1967 she first visited the Robben Island prison, where many black activists were held. She met and befriended Nelson MandelaMandela, Nelson Rolihlahla
, 1918–2013, South African statesman. He earned a degree (B.A., 1943) after being expelled from the University College of Fort Hare (for taking part in a student protest) and finishing his studies with the Univ.
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 there, returned frequently, and worked to improve the prison's appalling conditions. Suzman retired from parliament in 1989 and served as president of the South African Institute of Race Relations (1991–93) and a member of the Human Rights Commission (1995–96).


See her memoir, In No Uncertain Terms (1993); study by M. Pimstone (1973, repr. 2005).

References in periodicals archive ?
As Lawrence Schlemmer, director of the Helen Suzman Foundation cautions: "Posterity requires that the new government, now with its power accumulated over three terms of office, hire the best available expertise to design and organise development programmes in both urban and rural areas to create opportunities and pressure for local community improvement and self-employment.
Previous Noel honorees have included Mother Teresa, Lady Margaret Thatcher, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Helen Suzman and Adelaide Tambo from South Africa, Dr.
Harry supported Helen Suzman in her liberal anti-apartheid stance in parliament, and created a picture of de Beers as an island of enlightened liberalism.
Helen Suzman Anti-apartheid activist Died Jan 1, age 91
The niece of the renowned antiapartheid politician Helen Suzman, she suggests that exiles tend either to cut themselves off completely from their homeland or remain connected through family ties.
Former recipients of the Noel Life Awards have included Mother Theresa, Lady Margaret Thatcher, former President of Ireland Mary Robinson, Helen Suzman and Adelaide Tambo from South Africa, Dr.
Through the stories of these three families, a wider cast of personalities and their contributions unfold, principally those of the white community, like the veteran Liberal MP Helen Suzman and the novelist Alan Paton, who for various reasons allied themselves to the cause of African liberation.
Unlike many workers for justice, Helen Suzman has received full international recognition and praise; honorary doctorates and other awards have poured in.
The names of Joe Slovo, Ruth First, Harry Schwartz, Rusty Bernstein, Arthur Goldreich, Helen Suzman, and Arthur Chaskalson, among a long list of others, were all an integral part of Mandela's life.