Flags at half mast as South African campaigner Helen Suzman is buried
Several hundred friends and family members attended the funeral of South African anti-Apartheid campaigner Helen Suzman on Sunday, at a cemetery in Johannesburg, dpa reported.
Suzman, who died at the age of 91 on January 1, spent more than a decade as a lonely parliamentary voice against the racial policies of the former white minority South African regime.
Attendees of the memorial service included the ex-wife of former
South African president Nelson Mandela, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, and current President Kgalema Motlanthe. Motlanthe had earlier ordered that the flags on public buildings be flown at half-mast in Suzman's honour.
Suzman joined parliament as a member of the opposition United Party in 1953. After an internal party divide, she joined the newly created Progressive Party and proceeded to be that party's only member of parliament from 1961 to 1974, when seven other party members joined the legislature.
During her political career, she was often hailed as the most effective parliamentary critic of apartheid, the racially segregationist policy of South Africa from 1948 to 1990.
Due to her stances, she developed a particularly acerbic relationship with former president PW Botha. Botha's successor, Nobel laureate FW de Klerk attended Suzman's funeral.
Mandela, who was a political prisoner during the apartheid era, has referred to her as a "remarkable South African woman."
She retired from politics in 1989.