Judy Todd – Rebel Without a Pause

LONDON - Judith Todd, daughter of the late Garfield and Grace Todd, has arrived here to wage a fresh verbal attack against Robert Mugabe and his ZanU (PF) regime in Zimbabwe.

She touched down in London from her new home in Cape Town on Tuesday, almost 42 years to the day after her introduction to the world of politics and human rights campaigning when she stood in for her father at gathering of academics, journalists and diplomats   at Edinburgh University on October 20, 1965.

Garfield Todd, Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia from 1953-1958, had been arrested in Salisbury shortly before he prepared to board an Air Rhodesia flight to London.

The plan was that he would deliver a blistering attack on the Smith “government “which was preparing to declare UDI the following month. Unable to keep his appointment in Edinburgh, 22-year old Judith took his place and became – almost overnight – a doyenne of the black rights movement in Rhodesia.

Over four decades later, she is still a leading advocate for human rights in her country.

Judith Todd  is also the acclaimed author of several books, the latest being Throught the Darkness  which is a well documented saga of Mugabe’s betrayal of all the hopes and ideals that fired fighters during  Chimurenga Two from 1966 through to Independence in 1980.

While in Britain, Judith will speak to prominent journalists, diplomats and businesspeople about the state of Zimbabwe at the Commonwealth Club in London.

Next week, she will deliver the Second Cambridge University Commonwealth Lecture on ‘Zimbabwe – a troubled past and present – a challenge to the Commonwealth’.

At the launch of Through the Darkness in Cape Town recently, Professor Kader Asmal MP, a member of the National Executive Committee of the ANC, regretted that he failed to speak out against the Mugabe regime that has brought Zimbabwe to its knees.  

“I am dismally conscious of Judy’s painful reminder that South Africans, including our media, failed (even after a UN report) to draw attention to the Pol Potian devastation wrought by Operation Murambatsvina which began on 17 May 2005 and which may still be continuing,” he said.

aFter half a century of fighting for black rights Garfield Todd was denied the right to vote in Zimbabwe and Judith had her passport taken away. Today she lives in South Africa but like a few million other people hopes to return to a post-Mugabe Zimbabwe to live, work and re-build. – African Forum News Services.

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