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Not Without a Fight: The Autobiography

Recommended Price 
October 2016
About the book: 
Helen Zille’s long-awaited autobiography is one of the most fascinating political stories of our time.
Zille takes the reader back to her humble family origins, her struggle with anorexia as a young woman, her early career as a journalist for the Rand Daily Mail, and her involvement with the End Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash. She documents her early days in the Democratic Party and the Democratic Alliance, at a time when the party was locked in a no-holds-barred factional conflict. And she chronicles the intense political battles to become mayor of Cape Town, leader of the DA and premier of the Western Cape, in the face of dirty tricks from the ANC and infighting within her own party.
This is a story about political intrigue and treachery, floor-crossing and unlikely coalitions, phone tapping and intimidation, false criminal charges and judicial commissions. It documents Zille’s courageous fight against corruption and state capture and her efforts to realign politics and entrench accountability. And it describes a mother’s battle to raise children in the pressured world of South African politics.
This book is as frank, honest and unflinching as Helen Zille herself, and will appeal to anyone interested in the story of South African politics over the past fifty years.

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About the Author
Helen Zille was born in 1951 in Hillbrow, Johannesburg, the daughter of refugees who escaped Nazi Germany.
After graduating from the University of the Witwatersrand, she made a name for herself as a political journalist and an outspoken critic of apartheid, working for South Africa’s leading liberal newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail, where she wrote the story exposing Steve Biko’s murder.
Zille joined the Democratic Party in the mid-1990s, and was asked to reformulate the party’s education policy. After a term in the Western Cape provincial legislature under the newly formed Democratic Alliance, she was elected as a member of parliament in 2004, serving on the portfolio committee on education and as the party’s national spokesperson. In 2006 Zille was elected mayor of Cape Town and in 2007 she became leader of the DA. When her party won the Western Cape in the 2009 general election, she was appointed premier of the province, a position that she continues to hold after stepping down as DA leader in 2015.
She is married to Johann Maree, and they have two children, Paul and Thomas.
Photograph courtesy of

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