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Helen Suzman Papers Bestanddeel
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Letters 1988-1989

  • ZA HPRA A2084-A-Aa-Aa1-Aa1.1-Aa1.1.11-Aa1.1.14.1
  • Bestanddeel
  • 1988-1989
  • Part of Helen Suzman Papers

Includes: 29/02/1988: letter from Lykop Medium Prison addressed to "Her Majesty 49 Melville Road, Hypark"; Correspondence between Helen Suzman and the Head of Prisons, W.H. Willemse and other officials; Oct — November 1988: correspondence concerning Emergency detainees being held at Krugersdorp Prison, occasioned by a letter smuggled out by Rev. Molefe Tsele and passed on to Helen Suzman by Joyce Soeldner. The letter particularly mentions Colonel Coetzee, the head of the prison, who "literally thrives on tension between ourselves and himself or his staff" and is signed by 40 prisoners.

Letters post-1990

Includes: 2002-2005: items concerning the case of Mlamuli Ndlovu (attempted murder, robbery & attempted robbery): in a letter to 'Hannes' dated 20/01/2005 Helen Suzman signs herself "Warm regards, Helen, aka The sweet bird from the blood-soaked south!" [Hannes might well be Judge Hannes Fagan]; 2004-2005: correspondence concerning the sister of Dave Montgomery who is in prison for murdering her abusive husband; in a letter dated 24/02/2005 Helen Suzman comments that "conditions in prisons were disgusting during the apartheid era, and by and large they are as bad, if not worse, now.".

Representations 1962-1965

  • ZA HPRA A2084-A-Aa-Aa1-Aa1.2-Aa1.2.1-Aa1.2.1.1
  • Bestanddeel
  • 1962-1965
  • Part of Helen Suzman Papers

Includes: 15/03/1962: correspondence concerning Cinderella Prison between Helen Suzman and the Commissioner of Prisons Mr. V. R. Verster [Victor Verster perhaps?]; Verster states that all the allegations made about conditions at the prison are unfounded, despite some being extremely specific; 06/07/1965: Helen Suzman letter to J.B. Braaksma at 611 Monaco, Troye Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria concerning legal aid, the costs of political trials, the activities of Defence & Aid Fund etc., August 1965: correspondence with Minister of Justice Vorster concerning her acceptance of his general invitation (apparently reported in Die Transvaaler on 24th July) to MPs to visit prisons.

Representations 1966-1968

  • ZA HPRA A2084-A-Aa-Aa1-Aa1.2-Aa1.2.1-Aa1.2.1.2
  • Bestanddeel
  • 1966-1968
  • Part of Helen Suzman Papers

Includes: 25/05/1966: Helen Suzman letter to Minister of Justice hoping that prisoners who have committed "offences against the state" will not be excluded from any proposed amnesty and, if they are, that they will at least be upgraded; 16/02/1967: Helen Suzman letter to Minister of Justice & Prisons — Pelser - about her visit to Robben Island on the morning of 15/02/1967 in the company of General Steyn. Helen Suzman remarks that (Robert) Sobukwe was lonely because he was separated from all other prisoners and the issue of getting rail warrants to enable his wife to visit him; she also raises the problems of other prisoners such as getting permission to study — especially those who are illiterate — lack of adequate clothing, food and photos of their families; she met with Nelson Mandela, Neville Alexander, (Govan) Mbeki and others. Alexander was having problems with his studies whilst Mandela's chief complaint concerned warder van Rensburg at the Robben Island quarry; generally there was a need for hot water, tobacco and attention to the grading system; 08/12/1967: Helen Suzman letter to Gwendolyn Carter (Dept. of African Studies, North-West University, Evanston, Illinois, USA) concerning a book she had sent to Helen Suzman called "The Transkei"; she mentions the "pipe-dream" of the homelands policy and the "hopelessness of ever believing that the homelands can offer any sort of viable alternative to Africans" and the growing concern for women "who land up in bleak settlement areas" such as one near Queenstown; 22/02/1968: letter to Helen Suzman from Stephanie Sachs [wife of Albie Sachs] asking whether Helen Suzman had seen any female "non-white political prisoners serving long-term sentences" and where they are being held; Helen Suzman says she hopes to be able to do this during the parliamentary recess and goes on to say that she hopes Stephanie and Albie have settled down happily in London; 16/04/1968: letter from I. Stein, now in London, concerning an assault on him whilst in Pollsmoor on 18/10/1966.

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