When Melanie Verwoerd was a pupil at Bloemhof Girls in Stellenbosch dedicating every spare hour to ballet, no one would have predicted that she would one day be an international figure. She married the grandson of HF Verwoerd at 19, and a few years later was disowned and forbidden the Verwoerd family home – she had been elected as ANC treasurer in Stellenbosch and former friends crossed the road when she approached.
But it was not only in South Africa that Melanie attracted trouble. In Ireland, she found new love with Gerry Ryan, a controversial broadcaster. Ryan’s premature and shocking death shattered not only her heart, but also her career.
Melanie was featured in the I am Woman series on SABC3.