Helen Suzman

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.

One of Helen’s most respected qualities was her unyielding belief in “going to see for yourself”.

Helen helped where she could, raising the difficult issues when they needed to come to the fore. She worked tirelessly as a public servant, lending her voice to those who were powerless and persecuted. It is to honour these values that the Foundation continues her life’s work.

Read more about Helen's fearlessness in exposing the viciousness and irrationality of Apartheid's policies, read Archbishop Desmond Tutu's tribute here.

Read more about the solidarity she showed political detainees, read Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke's tribute to Helen here.

Read more tributes to Helen in the Suzman Tribute edition of Focus here.