Helen Suzman

The Helen Suzman Foundation was founded in 1993 to honour the life work of Helen Suzman. The Foundation seeks to promote the values espoused by Helen Suzman throughout her public life and in her devotion to public service.

Helen Suzman became an MP in 1953, going on to serve for a further 36 years. For 13 of those years Helen was the sole Progressive MP in Parliament and for 6 years was the only female parliamentarian. She consistently challenged discriminatory legislation and the spate of security laws introduced by the Apartheid government.

Helen took it upon herself to be a voice for the millions of voiceless South Africans. She refused to be indifferent towards the injustice around her.

One of Helen’s most respected qualities was her unyielding belief in “going to see for yourself”. Armed with on the ground information and her articulate well reasoned arguments, Helen never got a fact wrong in her 36 years of Parliamentary debates and question sessions as an MP.

Helen helped where she could, raising the difficult issues when they needed to come to the fore. She worked tirelessly as a public servant and was able to help a great number of people in their troubles with the security services. Helen was a great public servant who put others needs before her own. It is to honour these values that the Foundation continues her life’s work.

Read more about Helen Suzman by:

Celebrating Helen Suzman – A Bright Star in a Dark Chamber by Francis Antonie

Downloading the Fighter for Human Rights Exhibition (link on the right)

Buying the Helen Suzman: They Fought for Freedom book by Gillian Godsell (link on the right)

Downloading the following tributes and obituaries to Helen Suzman (PDFs):

The Star Editorial: An icon of activism
The Star
2 January 2009

A lone voice has been silenced
For decades Helen Suzman fought a brave battle against the Nats and their dastardly policies. Both inside and outside parliament, she was truly a giant
Peter Sullivan
The Star
2 January 2009

Rapier-witted and caring Helen won hearts while fighting unpopular causes
David Welsh
Lone warrier for justice in racist Parliament
Leon Marshall
Cape Times
2 January 2009

Cape Times Editorial: Fare well
Cape Times
2 January 2009

Suzman the strong and resolute warrior
Fiona Forde
Weekend Argus
3 January 2009

Weekend Argus Editorial: Courage was her name
Weekend Argus
3 January 2009

Speaking truth to apartheid power
Helen Suzman was blind to colour, religion and political belief. Her concern was to fight against racial injustice
Benjamin Pogrund
Weekend Argus
4 January 2009

Sunday Times Editorial: Suzman's legacy is indisputable
Sunday Times
4 January 2009

The Lone Ranger of Liberalism - Farewell: SA's great and good queue up to mourn Helen
Cederic Mboyisa
The Citizen
5 January 2009

Cape Argus Editorial: Matching the greatness
Cape Argus
5 January 2009

The 'bright star' whose just and brave light was never dimmed
Rhoda Kadalie
Business Day
5 January 2009

The profound legacy of a woman of imagination
Ann Bernstein
Business Day
6 January 2009

Helen Suzman must be honoured as a moral signpost on SA's path to democracy
Raenette Taljaard
Cape Argus
6 January 2009

Raising the Suzman Standard
SA society would benefit greatly if public servants followed her admirable lead
Mamphela Ramphele
Sunday Times
11 January 2009