Helen Suzman - Robin Renwick
Helen Suzman by Robin Renwick is a short but concise volume on the veteran anti-apartheid campaigner and parliamentarian. Suzman devoted, in Lord Renwick’s words, ‘her political career to the pursuit of high principles’, never lacking in energy, resourcefulness, intellectual rigour, and sharp-tongued humour in her decades of campaigning against apartheid and its manifestations, grand, petty and brutal, from forced removals to her support for Winnie Mandela during her banishment to Brandfort and over the inquest into the murder of Steve Biko. Her support for detainees and prisoners and opposition to the legislation that had put them in goal brought her into contact with everyone from Ruth First to Pravin Gordhan and virtually all stops in between including, inevitably, Nelson Mandela. The book is testament to the mutual admiration of these two political icons from their first meeting on Robben Island in February 1967. The reproduction of some of their personal correspondence provides a rich final flourish to this volume, their lives threads never far apart in this, Renwick’s South African political tapestry.