Not Without a Fight

The Autobiography

Helen Zille

The long-awaited autobiography of Helen Zille, former leader of the Democratic Alliance and one of South Africa's most important political figures.
Date Published :
December 2016
Publisher :
Penguin Random House South Africa
Illustration :
16 pages photos
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781776090426
Pages : 560
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


Not Without a Fight is the long-awaited autobiography of Helen Zille, one of South Africa’s most important political figures. Zille takes the reader back to her humble family origins, her early career as a journalist at the Rand Daily Mail, where she wrote the story exposing Steve Biko’s murder, and her involvement with the End Conscription Campaign and the Black Sash. She documents her journey through the ranks of the Democratic Party and the Democratic Alliance, and recalls her experiences as leader of the DA, mayor of Cape Town and premier of the Western Cape. In the process she speaks frankly about colleagues and opponents, and reveals fascinating insights about what happened behind the political scenes. Readers will also meet a Helen Zille they did not know: a warm person, a devoted mother, and someone with an earthy sense of humour. This book is as frank, honest and uncompromising as Helen Zille herself, and will appeal to anyone interested in the story of South Africa politics over the part fifty years.

About The Author

Before entering politics, Zille made a name for herself as a political journalist and outspoken critic of apartheid, working for South Africa’s leading liberal newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail. Zille joined the Democratic Party in the mid-1990s, where she 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 to the National Assembly 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 took over as leader of the Democratic Alliance. 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.


"Beyond the personal, the cumulative effect of Not without a Fight is to present Zille as an honest politician — a rarity — and it’s all the more valuable for that."

- Mail & Guardian

"Helen Zille has done a formidable job of weaving together her personal and political lives in a highly readable work. It’s revealing, colourful, scathing, and more than a little exhausting."

- Daily Maverick

"Not without a Fight is a fascinating and, at times riveting book, full of telling and sometimes charming vignettes."


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