And when Helen Suzman wasn’t fishing…

It’s a name inextricably linked with the 1970s, like Barry Sheene and Brut.

There she was, the lone voice of dissent among all those white South African politicians happy to jump through the most ridiculous hoops in their desperation to justify Apartheid.

Even as a teenager, it occurred to me that Helen Suzman probably had a very large wall around her home. And needed it.

A fly fisher and possibly the only female politician who could have taken Margaret Thatcher in a fistfight (Eva Peron? Get out of here…) Suzman died on New Year’s Day, aged 91.

This magnificent obituary mentions fishing just once, yet is a compelling read nonetheless.

One of John Junor‘s recurrent themes in his superb current affairs column in the Sunday Express some 30 years ago was that for all the muscle, bluster and testosterone surrounding the male gender, time and again it is women who prove themselves to be life’s real heroes. I was a spotty sceptic of that theory back then, yet have lived to see it borne out many times since. Never more so than by the remarkable Helen Suzman.

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