Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman dies at 91

January 1, 2009 16:32

Jewish South African anti-apartheid activist Helen Suzman, who was one of the few white lawmakers to fight against the injustices of racist rule, died Thursday at the age of 91. Suzman fought a long and lonely battle in the South African parliament against government repression of the country's black majority. She first visited Nelson Mandela, leader of the then-banned African National Congress, in prison in 1967 at the start of a long friendship. For 13 years, Helen Suzman, who was born in the mining town of Germiston east of Johannesburg to parents who had fled anti-Semitism in Russia, was the sole opposition lawmaker in South Africa's parliament, raising her voice time after time against the introduction of racist legislation by the National Party government.

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