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Helen Zille mit Friedrich-Naumann-Medaille ausgezeichnet

Helen Zille, Wolfgang Gerhardt
Helen Zille, Wolfgang Gerhardt
The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Liberty (FNF) bestowed its Friedrich Naumann Medal on one of the most remarkable Liberals in South Africa: Helen Zille, leader of the Democratic Alliance and Premier of the Western Cape Province.

Dr Wolfgang Gerhardt, chairman of the FNF’s board, emphasised Helen Zille’s tremendous record in showing what liberals can achieve in government.

Dr Gerhardt was in Cape Town last weekend to attend meetings of the Liberal International and the Africa Liberal Network, the former an association of liberal parties world-wide, the latter a network of twenty-eight African liberal parties.

Visibly moved, Helen Zille accepted the Friedrich Naumann Medal and explained that her liberal convictions – flying in the face of everything Apartheid South Africa stood for when she grew up – came in direct line from her German parents. They had been forced to flee Germany in the 1930s, but continued to hold faith with the liberal tradition, the belief in the equality of all people and in their right to liberty.

Helen Zille spoke about how much this Friedrich Naumann Medal means to her and how proud she is to work with FNF, a standard bearer of liberal values. She had come to the conclusion after much thinking and deliberation, she said, that the German regime that forced her parents out of the country of their birth was ‘an aberration’.

Turning to the present, she outlined a number of the challenges that lie ahead of South Africa if it is to hold on to its liberal constitution and the principles and values it embodies.

Barbara Groeblinghoff
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