Helen Suzman

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Biographical Information

Helen Suzman, died in 2009 aged 91.

"After standing down as an MP, she left it to others to serve as the watchdogs over abuse of power in the "new" South Africa that followed the fall of apartheid. Many liberals, guilt-stricken over the "slideaway" of the 1980s, when they believed they failed to speak out adequately against the excesses of the liberation movement, redoubled their efforts to prevent it from happening again, distancing themselves from the so-called ANC groupies.

"Predictably, this did not endear them to the ANC. Leading the no-slideaway liberals was the South African Institute of Race Relations (of which Helen was once president). The Helen Suzman Foundation itself has assumed what it saw as the historic mantle of liberalism to criticise.

"The accolades were endless – honorary doctorates, two nominations for the Nobel peace prize, a damehood conferred on her by the Queen (although because she was not a British subject, she was not entitled to be called Dame Helen)... Mosie died in 1994, and Helen is survived by two daughters, Frances, an art historian who lives in London, and Patricia, a doctor, who lives in Boston." [1]




Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. guardian.co.uk Helen Suzman, organizational web page, accessed January 10, 2013.
  2. Food and Trees for Africa History, organizational web page, accessed January 10, 2013.