Helen's reputation was built not on lofty thoughts and resounding speeches, but on hard work. One by one, as they came off the assembly line, she shredded the bills that removed civil liberties. One by one, she tore her parliamentary colleagues apart for their callousness, ignorance and ineptitude. Day after day, she would meet the poor, either in her office, or more often in their own shacks, listening to their tales of sorrow and sadness, of hurt and hatred.
With typical chutzpah, she would accost ministers in the parliamentary lobby or beard police officers in their dens, and demand to know why some nameless person of colour was being deprived of his or her rights.
In Suzman's own words, "I am provocative, and I admit this. It isn't as if I'm only on the receiving end, a poor, frail little creature. I can be thoroughly nasty when I get going, and I don't pull my punches." The world will be a poorer place without those punches, though Suzman's fighting spirit will continue to inspire us to speak out against injustice and agitate for change.