Ruth Hayman

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Ruth Hayman (died 1981, London, England) was a lawyer and anti-apartheid campaigner. She was one of the first women in South Africa to qualify as an attorney. Through the Black Sash organisation, Hayman offered free legal advice to many people, usually women, who had approached the Black Sash Advice Centre in Johannesburg, and often appeared herself in court to represent them. She also defended the anti-apartheid activists Walter and Adelaine Hain, parents of the British Cabinet Minister Peter Hain.

Her activities brought her into direct opposition with the National Party government, and in 1966 she was served with a "banning order" under the Suppression of Communism Act and placed under house arrest.

"This banning was, according to Sydney Kentridge, 'inexplicable save on the assumption that it was a punishment for her professional work' ('Legal Aid and Political Trials' in Legal Aid in South Africa (1974) 215). The Transvaal Law Society refused to come to her aid. This sent out a clear message to attorneys." (Dugard, J., 2004, p508)

Hayman moved to London, with her husband, Mervyn Lazar, in 1968, and was a pioneer in the field of teaching English as a second language. In 1977 she was one of the founders of the National Association for the Teaching of English as a Second Language to Adults. Now renamed as NATECLA. The Ruth Hayman Trust, set up in her memory, gives small personal grants to support the education and training of adults who live in the UK and whose first language is not English.

See also[edit]


  • Raymond Tucker, Dugard, J., SAJHR 20, 2004

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