Photo by Alon Skuy/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images.
South Africans Pay Tribute to Veteran Anti-Apartheid Lawyer George Bizos
George Bizos famously represented the late Nelson Mandela and several other struggle veterans during the Apartheid era. He passed away at the age of 92 this past Wednesday.
This past Wednesday, anti-Apartheid lawyer George Bizos passed away at the age of 92. Bizos famously defended struggle veteran and former President Nelson Mandela during his treason trial, the infamous Rivonia Trial and that of other struggle veterans. Bizos is credited with amending Mandela's fierce speech at the Rivonia Trial, in the hopes that the state would be lenient towards him. The Rivonia Trial, which occurred between 1963 and 1964, saw Mandela, Govan Mbeki, Walter Sisulu and seven others accused of trying to "overthrow" the state. Towards the end of July of this year, the last of the Rivonia trialists Andrew Mlangeni, passed away at the age of 95.
Aside from being Mandela's lawyer, Bizos was indeed a close friend of the former statesman. The Nelson Mandela Foundation described the pair's friendship saying, "In the last years of Mandela's life, they were often to be found together, just catching up, sharing memories, or heading off on car rides to see, one more time, places of significance in their life journeys."
In his critically acclaimed memoir, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela himself described Bizos as a man "who combined a sympathetic nature with an incisive mind".
In the wake of his passing, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the following about Bizos:
"This is sad news for all of us as South Africans. George Bizos contributed immensely to the attainment of our democracy. He worked very closely with Nelson Mandela, Arthur Chaskalson, and many others. He had an incisive legal mind and was one of the architects of our Constitution."
The likes of investigative journalist and author Redi Tlabi, activist Shaeera Kalla and several other South Africans have all paid tribute to Bizos and the legacy he now leaves behind. See some of these tributes below:
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