• The Heroine Project

Liezl Van Der Merwe: The politician

Updated: Apr 23, 2019

Liezl Van Der Merwe @liezvandermerwe andermerwe @Liezl_vdMerwe is a member of the South African Parliament and represents the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) @vote_ifp, currently the fourth largest party in the National Assembly. She serves as Parliamentary Whip and Member of the IFP National Council (the highest decision-making body of the party). Liezl took a keen interest in politics from an early age - when she turned 10, she requested a book on politics as a birthday gift! It was during this time, at the height of South Africa’s struggle against apartheid, that she read everything she could find about the leaders of the struggle and decided that she wanted to “be part of the difference in the new South Africa”. It was also during this time that she became interested in Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and the IFP.

Realising her dream has not been a straight-forward journey. After school, she left for London to save money to study journalism back in South Africa. After qualifying she went back to work for the UK news broadcaster, ITV, in London. Upon her return to South Africa in 2006, she joined the IFP as a media officer, became a member of the party and joined the IFP Youth Brigade. In 2012, she was appointed a Member of Parliament. During her career with the IFP she has not only been an IFP activist but also championed and continues to champion causes of the most vulnerable in our society such as women’s abuse and other social development issues (e.g. SASSA grants issue). We are inspired by Liezl’s story because of her commitment and passion to driving change and making a difference at a parliamentary level even though we as a country find ourselves in challenging yet interesting times, especially in the political arena.

Liezl confesses that she is pug fanatic and owns two herself – “a fat pug and a thin pug”.

Featured artist: Joshua Pearse @artjosh


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