Hero’s farewell for feisty freedom fighter

Veteran politician Helen Suzman was laid to rest on Sunday at Johannesburg’s West Park Cemetery, in a hero’s send-off, with mourners praising her tireless anti-apartheid endeavours. Suzman died last Thursday at the age of 91.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein said in his eulogy: “History must record that she was one of the great freedom fighters for the liberation of SA from the tyranny of apartheid. The tools of her liberation struggle were not guns, or the politics of resistance, but the use of the machinery, the beast of the apartheid parliament, to attack the system itself.”

Goldstein said that her feistiness and temerity in shaming prime ministers gave hope to millions of South Africans and to the citizens of the world, all of whom witnessed that in the midst of apartheid, there was a voice, clear and strong, speaking out against injustice and oppression.

“She was the voice of millions of disenfranchised and oppressed South Africans, the victims of the evils of apartheid.”

Goldstein said: “She concerned herself with the plight of individuals, following the Talmudic teaching that to save one life is to save a world. Suffering South Africans — black and white — turned to her for help.

“She never let go and tried her best to solve each one of their problems, doing work which was nearly all unsung and unreported in the public domain.”

“With kindness and compassion she visited prisoners to bring them comfort and to fight for ways of improving their conditions.”

Source: Sanchia Temkin Hero’s farewell for feisty freedom fighterBusiness Day, January 05, 2009

For text: http://www.businessday.co.za/articles/topstories.aspx?ID=BD4A912479

FMF Policy Bulletin/ 06 January 2009

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