Friday, January 02, 2009

Suzman

As we who were around in the 1980s sat helplessly around the tv watching the outrages of South Africa apartheid system, one white woman in South African stood out like a beacon. She was probably the sole politician who was against apartheid at one time and she later used any opportunity to get her message across, from within Parliament to later the world media.

She was often called upon by the Australian media for her views. She came across as both pragmatic and idealistic, a rare combination. She was certainly courageous, even going so far as called the appalling Pik Botha a vicious little cat. It is a wonder she survived.

I just found this quote in The Age, An apartheid minister once told her in parliament: "You put these questions just to embarrass South Africa overseas", to which she replied: "It is not my questions that embarrass South Africa, it is your answers."

Recently she was quoted as saying that she is not terribly pleased with what replaced apartheid. Who could disagree, but then it is at least not Zimbabwe. She would be high on my very short list of public figures who I admire.

Helen Suzman died yesterday, aged 91.

Pic courtesy BBC.

5 comments:

  1. "Recently she was quoted as saying that she is not terribly pleased with what replaced apartheid."

    The longest journey begins with a single step.

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  2. It takes real courage to stand alone like that- a Jewish female politician amongst all those Calvinist politicians. Inspirational.

    I looked at the Googlemap you're going- great!
    Janine

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  3. I meant 'doing' of course. Why do you only see the error once you press 'Publish'?

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  4. I hope so Brian. Whites there still seem to live a privileged life. But in one way that is good. They will attract foreign visitors who would like to see the country, like moi.

    Hi Janine and welcome. I must look up Calvinist up. I have only a vague idea of the meaning, but it sounds like a perjorative word that I might use. Thanks re the map and I missed the error. Matters little. Better bash off and have a look at your blog. I think it may be interesting after a brief glance.

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  5. She had more balls than those bloody bastards trying to shut her up.

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Whenever I wish I was young again, I am sobered by memories of algebra.