President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to Greek-South African human rights lawyer George Bizos after he died on Wednesday September 9th 2020, at the age of 92.
“I have just received news that legal eagle of our country George Bizos has passed away,” President Cyril Ramaphosa told reporters.
“This is very sad for our country.”
During the 1950s and 1960s, Bizos was counsel to a wide range of well-known people including Trevor Huddleston of Sophiatown.
Bizos represented Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial which saw Mandela and seven others sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964 on charges of seeking to overthrow the racist apartheid government. Many had expected the death penalty.
Neeshan Balton of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said Bizos was “a towering giant in so many facets of our liberation struggle.
“Now all the Rivonia trialists are joined by the last member of their legal team. Hamba Kahle Uncle George.”
Ramaphosa described Bizos as one of the lawyers who “contributed immensely to the attainment of our democracy”.
“He had an incisive legal mind and was one of the architects of our constitution,” the president said.
A prominent anti-apartheid campaigner, Bizos practised as a lawyer into his late eighties. One of his last major trials secured government pay-outs in 2014 for families of 34 miners shot dead by police at Marikana, northwest of Johannesburg, two years earlier.
Main Image: Kfm