Helen Suzman remembered

06 January 2009 | Story by Newsroom

The University of Cape Town is deeply saddened at the passing of Helen Suzman. Her tireless championing of human rights and the enormous energy she poured into denouncing apartheid demonstrated almost superhuman abilities. In doing so she gave millions of disenfranchised South Africans a voice that was heard throughout the world.

Professor Cyril O'Connor, UCT's Acting Vice-Chancellor, paid tribute to Suzman, saying her deep sense of justice and her fearlessness served as a beacon of hope and courage during the darkest days of apartheid.

"Helen Suzman was a national icon, the likes of which a country does not see very often. Her analytical mind, her candidness and her compassion were enormous assets to our country."

Professor O'Connor added that her astute political commentary and her ability to understand all sides of an issue will be sorely missed.

"For many years Helen Suzman was one of the sole voices of reason in South Africa and post-1994 she played a critical role in nation-building during the reconciliation process. A true South African hero has passed."

UCT recognized Suzman's outstanding national contribution towards building a democratic South Africa, awarding her an honorary doctorate in 1986.

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