Terry McAuliffe's Conversation with Virginians

Causes and candidates supported by Heidi Li

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January 04, 2009


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Tessa Gordon

From an ex South African..
Helen Suzman "politicised" me at the age of 8, when my mother worked in her campaign for parliament.
She became the lone opposition to the Nationalists for over 13 years, an extraordinary fighter against injustice ( and there was more than plenty of that) and a champion of human rights.
My husband and I lost touch with her many years ago but we were fortunate to visit with her and her dogs last March when we were in Johannesburg.

We parted ways with Helen politically a very long time ago- particularly over her stand on Sanctions.
But we never lost our deep admiration for her- both for the solitary and tireless war she waged on behalf of the disenfranchised and oppressed, for her brilliance, her courage, her compassion and her fearlessness.For the thoroughly decent, no bullshit person she was.In fact Helen lived her values. She wasn't a politician in the American understanding of the term.In fact she was less a politician - more an activist. Helen was, in fact, everything a politician should be..

To us she will always be one of South Africa's greatest assets.

Helen's achievements have been seriously undervalued in South Africa (sanctions may have something to do with that), but we truly believe she deserves a state funeral-or something approaching this.
Doubtless, there are many South Africans- including her dear friend Nelson Mandela- at home and abroad -who are deeply saddened by her passing.
For us it marks the end of a very personal era..

Follow the link to this 1998 interview with Charlie Rose from 1998 It is worth it


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