Suzman was one tough white lady

Did you follow the controversy in South Africa when the Democratic Alliance [in its political ­education campaign] used an image of Helen Suzman being hugged by Nelson Mandela? What did you make of the criticism that she legitimated the apartheid Parliament?
The lions of the liberation movement – [Albert] Luthuli, [Robert] Sobukwe, [Nelson] Mandela, [Walter] Sisulu, [Bram] Fischer – admired and respected her, as she did them.

Nowadays you get some lesser figures who want to argue with her posthumously, but the critique is a critique of so-called liberalism. She was, in my view, a true liberal. She was anything but soft. She stood for a bunch of values she was prepared to defend against all comers, starting with Hendrik Verwoerd.

She took great pride and comfort in the fact that the values she stood for were incorporated in the Constitution. It is, in that sense, a fully liberal Constitution.

Read it at the M&G.