About HSF

The Helen Suzman Foundation promotes liberal constitutional democracy and the rule of law.

Our liberalism is grounded in Helen’s legacy, and draws from the history of liberal thought in South Africa.

It is our firm belief that the Constitution of South Africa is a liberal document. In its preamble it calls for “a society based on democratic values, social justice and fundamental human rights”, which aims to “free the potential of each person” and where “every citizen is equally protected by law”.

We promote good governance, transparency and accountability. We advocate policies that translate the aspirations of our Constitution into lived reality for all South Africans.

We are not aligned to any particular political party, but rather participate proactively in public debates to promote Constitutional values.

“I am proud to acknowledge that I am a liberal...who adheres to old-fashioned liberal values such as the rule of law, universal franchise, free elections, a free press, free association, guaranteed civil rights and an independent judiciary.” - Helen Suzman

About 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.

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 and was able to help a great number of people in their troubles with the security services. It is to honour these values that the Foundation continues her life’s work.

“By liberalism I don’t mean the creed of any party or any century. I mean generosity of spirit, a tolerance of others, an attempt to comprehend otherness, a commitment to the rule of law, a high ideal of the worth and dignity of man, a repugnance for authoritarianism and a love of freedom.” — Alan Paton