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Anti-Apartheid Activist Helen Suzman Dies

Posted on Jan 1, 2009

Former South African politician and anti-apartheid crusader Helen Suzman, a white woman who was once the only member of parliament to openly oppose the system of racial separation in South Africa, died Thursday at her home in Johannesburg. She was 91.


Archbishop Desmond Tutu said his country owed her an enormous debt in the struggle against apartheid.

“She really was indomitable,” he said.

Nelson Mandela Foundation chief executive Achmat Dangor told the Associated Press news agency that she was a “great patriot and a fearless fighter against apartheid”.

Mrs Suzman, who first entered the South African parliament in 1953, was a thorn in the side of the apartheid regime, says the BBC’s Peter Biles, in Johannesburg.

She was a frequent visitor of jailed African National Congress (ANC) leader Nelson Mandela when he was held on Robben Island prison for 18 years.

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By troublesum, January 3, 2009 at 6:30 am Link to this comment

I remember when Suzman and Nadine Gordimer were the only two white people in SA to speak out publicly against apartheid at the risk of their lives.  Two women.  There wasn’t a so-called white “man” who dared.

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By troublesum, January 2, 2009 at 1:55 pm Link to this comment

They burned President Carter so bad on his book, PEACE NOT APARTHEID, that he’s not speaking out on the crisis anymore either.

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 2, 2009 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment
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Eileen Fleming writes ...

.....How could a state founded on “equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” come to be such a state of hypocrisy?

Perhaps you are joking.  I won’t dig up the evidence, but it’s there, that the Zionists meant from the beginning to expel the Palestinians.  One thing you can count on the Zionists for, at least those in Israel, is a distinct lack of hypocrisy.

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By eileen fleming, January 2, 2009 at 8:00 am Link to this comment

I hope the death of Helen Suzman on the 7th day of carnage in Gaza, blow open the doors on Apartheid in Israel.

According to a UN report, Haaretz columnist Danny Rubinstein admitted that “Israel today was an apartheid State with four different Palestinian groups: those in Gaza, East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Israeli Palestinians, each of which had a different status…even if the wall followed strictly the line of the pre-1967 border, it would still not be justified. The two peoples needed cooperation rather than walls because they must be neighbors.”,7340,L-3444320,00.html


“An apartheid society is much more than just a ‘settler colony’. It involves specific forms of oppression that actively strip the original inhabitants of any rights at all, whereas civilian members of the invader caste are given all kinds of sumptuous privileges.” “Apartheid Ancient, Past, and Present Systematic and Gross Human Rights Violations in Graeco-Roman Egypt, South Africa, and Israel/Palestine” By Anthony Löwstedt. Page 77.


On May 14, 1948, The Declaration of the establishment of Israel affirmed that, “The State of Israel will be based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel: it will ensure complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion it will guarantee freedom of religion [and] conscience and will be faithful to the Charter of the United Nations.”


However, reality intrudes, for “The truth which is known to all; through its army, the government of Israel practices a brutal form of Apartheid in the territory it occupies. Its army has turned every Palestinian village and town into a fenced-in, or blocked-in, detention camp.”- Israeli Minister of Education, Shulamit Aloni quoted in the popular Israeli newspaper, Yediot Acharonot on December 20, 2006.


How could a state founded on “equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants” come to be such a state of hypocrisy?

The Rest:

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By Allan Gurfinkle, January 2, 2009 at 7:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

From Haaretz -

“Suzman prided herself for reading four newspapers every morning and championing causes close to her heart - including the decriminalization of marijuana.”

Oddly, there is no mention and effort by Suzman to oppose the apartheid policies of the government in Israel or any effort to help the oppressed Palestinian people.  So, perhaps she should be regarded as an anti-apartheid* activist, with the * indicating ‘applies to SA only’.

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