The South African Institute of Race Relations stands ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) after raid – warns of ‘David versus Goliath” battle to safeguard democracy.
The IRR’s CEO Dr Frans Cronje said, “Helen Suzman started her career at the IRR and worked closely with the organisation throughout her life. Today, inspired by her brave example, we stand shoulder to shoulder with the Foundation, its staff, and its trustees in sending a clear message that efforts at intimidation will not succeed in derailing the work of South Africa’s liberal pro-democracy groups.”
A spokesperson at the IRR, Ms Unathi Matwasa, said in the view of the IRR the raid was a positive indicator, “as it proves that efforts by the Foundation to apply pressure to rogue elements in the State are working. If they were not under pressure from the Foundation they would not have taken such a risk”.
According to Matwasa, “These are dangerous times for South Africa’s democracy. There are sinister people in powerful positions who have hijacked influential State institutions and do not wish to see our democracy survive. They will go to any lengths and engage in any abuse to escape justice for corruption and other crimes. Against them stand a relative handful of democracy activists. The future of our democracy is in many respects becoming a battle of David against Goliath”.
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Three days after the Helen Suzman Foundation and Freedom Under Law launched an urgent application in the Pretoria high court calling for the suspension of Hawks head, Lieutenant-General Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza, the Foundation’s offices were raided in an armed apartheid military-style operation on Sunday afternoon. The intruders, a woman and two men, made off with computers and documents after handcuffing a security guard to a railing. Read more at The Daily Maverick.