A Leading Social and Political Activist Reflects on the New South Africa

March 09, 2005 // 8:30am10:00am

A full summary and transcript of Ms. DeLille's comments will be posted shortly.

A Roundtable discussion with one of South Africa's most passionate and articulate voices. Described by Nelson Mandela as "his favorite opposition politician," Patricia De Lille has made a substantial mark on South African political life – first as a trade unionist, then as one of the nation's most forceful voices of liberation, and most recently, as a member of parliament. Last year, she left the Pan Africanist Congress (PAC) to form her own political party, the Independent Democrats (ID). Drawing significant support from white liberal and coloured voters, in the recent elections the Independent Democrats came from nowhere to capture almost 2% of the national vote and almost 10% of the votes in the Western and Northern Cape Provinces.

Ms. De Lille has occupied a variety of key posts over the course of her career: National Vice President of the National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU), a member of the National Executive of the Pan Africanist Congress, Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Chief Whip of the PAC, Chancellor of the Durban Institute of Technology (DIT). She and her party have weighed in vigorously on such issues as corruption, HIV/AIDS, women and child abuse, and the struggle against poverty. She is a member of both the Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption and the African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption. She has pressed for a more forceful South African diplomacy toward repressive Zimbabwe, and for a more aggressive government HIV/AIDS policy.


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