/India News24.com | OBITUARY | Human rights advocate George Bizos dies at the age of 92
India News24.com | OBITUARY | Human rights advocate George Bizos dies at the age of 92

India News24.com | OBITUARY | Human rights advocate George Bizos dies at the age of 92


  • Human rights lawyer and shut friend of Nelson Mandela died from pure causes at his dwelling on Wednesday.
  • He’ll be most effective remembered for representing Mandela and his co-accused in the Rivonia Trial.
  • Bizos is survived by his three sons. His companion Arethe died in 2017.

Well-liked human rights lawyer and shut friend of slack president Nelson Mandela, George Bizos, died of pure causes at his dwelling on Wednesday. He became once 92. 

Greatly admired for his mind, tactical appropriate mind and dedication to justice, Bizos can be most effective remembered for being phase of the appropriate team that represented Mandela and his co-accused in the Rivonia Trial in 1963-1964 the put the struggle icon became once sentenced to life imprisonment on Robben Island.

It became once Bizos who now famously urged Mandela to add the words “if wishes be” to the conclusion of the speech he delivered in the dock at some stage in the Rivonia Trial.

George Bizos.

The altered sentence, which has change into internationally identified as regarded as one of Mandela’s most famed quotes read: “It’s an supreme for which I even possess lived; it is an supreme for which I hope to dwell and explore realised. However if wishes be, it is an supreme for which I am willing to die.”

The young advocate later mentioned on the time he felt the speech became once too solid, and became once an invite to the deem to hand them the death sentence.

Wits university 

Bizos met Mandela in 1948 once they had been both students on the College of the Witwatersrand (Wits). The 2 remained shut chums for the length of the latter’s years in penal advanced and at some stage in his presidency, with Mandela writing in the prologue to Bizos’ autobiography, Odyssey to Freedom:

“In my absence in penal advanced he became the daddy of my household and my childhood and it is for that purpose that the title George Bizos carries with me a explicit sentiment which I even possess never forgotten.”

Mandela’s companion, Graça Machel, is quoted as having once mentioned of the two’s friendship, “Oh, those lovebirds! In our dwelling, George became once always, always upright. If Madiba became once not in an correct mood and the phone rang and he cheered up, then I knew that it wishes to be George on the road.”

Ragged president Nelson Mandela, George Bizos and Denis Goldberg, 76, glimpse the one particular person display camouflage, The Rivonia Trial.

Described as a man with a refined mind and a fierce dedication to the guideline of regulation, Bizos old the court docket as his battleground in the fight in opposition to apartheid.

After the Rivonia Trial, Bizos went on to dangle an famed appropriate occupation representing freedom warring parties. He acted as counsel for the accused in the Little Rivonia Trial in 1964, and acted as counsel for Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on a total lot of times, as successfully as the household of assassinated SACP chief Chris Hani.

He led the defence of the 22 accused in the Delmas Treason Trial of 1985-1989, alongside alongside with his shut friend and colleague Arthur Chaskalson, who would change into the principle president of the Constitutional Court.

Ahmed Timol inquest 

Bizos moreover acted as counsel for the households of Ahmed Timol in 1971 and Steve Biko in 1977 on the inquests into their deaths at some stage in detention respectively.

When the inquest into Timol’s death became once reopened in 2017 after the household found novel evidence to indicate that he did not commit suicide by leaping, nonetheless as a replacement could per chance per chance per chance were thrown out the 10th floor of what became once then the John Vorster Sq. penal advanced, Bizos testified how safety police, the judiciary and a few individuals from the medical occupation labored together at some stage in apartheid to shut the administration of justice.

While Bizos remained humble about his contribution to the struggle, it can per chance per chance moreover very successfully be argued that a total lot of experiences early in his life served to blueprint up him for the wanted role he became once to play in South Africa’s transition to democracy.

Nkosinati Biko, Steve Biko’s son talks to George Bizos on the East London TRC trials. (Picture by Gallo Pictures/Oryx Media Archive).

Born in 1928, he fled his native Greece on the age of 13 alongside with his father after the German invasion of 1941. The 2, alongside with two other Greek men and 7 New Zealand troopers, trigger off for Crete in an open fishing boat. After two days on the turbulent sea they sailed into an Allied snappily, who took them to Egypt. Right here he stayed in an orphanage in Alexandria for 3 months sooner than he fled alongside with his father to South Africa.

In an interview with The Citizen in 2015, Bizos mentioned, “We had a replacement to both tear to India or South Africa. My father had heard probabilities are you’ll per chance per chance capture gold and diamonds off the pavement in South Africa – and that is how we bought right here.” It became once a call that can successfully possess altered the historical past of South Africa as a nation.

Bizos’ earliest reminiscences of racial discrimination in South Africa had been once they arrived in the harbour in Durban and he saw Zulu men pulling heavy rickshaws – work done by animals in Greece. He has urged of how he shared his lunch with a shaded worker in the grocery retailer the put he later labored as a boy in Johannesburg while his father went to work.

A teacher from Jeppe High Faculty in the rupture found George in the retailer and enrolled him with extra classes to dangle up for the three years of training he overlooked. After graduating high college, he went to ogle regulation on the College of the Witwatersrand.

Sydney Kentridge, who headed the defence team on the Bram Fischer trial with George Bizos on March 30, 1966 in Pretoria.

It became once right here that he met Mandela and other lifelong chums goal like Chaskalson and famed South African creator Nadine Gordimer, and his political consciousness became once awoke.

In some unspecified time in the future of his time at Wits he served on the SRC for 3 consecutive years and became fascinated in regards to the struggle for the principle time, the put he became once recorded as announcing:

“If wanting my fellow shaded students to be treated equally makes me a leftist, I am proud to be one.”

Bizos graduated from Wits Rules Faculty in 1953 with a BA LLB and became once admitted to the Johannesburg Bar in 1954.

In 1979 he, alongside with Chaskalson, Johann Kriegler and Prof John Dugard opened the Proper Resources Centre (LRC) the put he labored till his death.

Botswana Court of Charm 

In 1985 he became once appointed as deem on the Botswana Court of Charm the put he served till 1993. In 1990 he became once appointed as a member of the ANC’s appropriate and constitutional committee, the put he played a key role in the writing of the Invoice of Rights, and represented the government sooner than the Constitutional Court for the abolition of the death penalty. He moreover led the team for the Constituent Assembly sooner than the Constitutional Court to certify the Constitution.

On the Conference for a Democratic South Africa (Codesa) he served as manual to the negotiating teams and took part in drawing up the Period in-between Constitution. He became once fascinated in regards to the drafting of regulations, and critically the Truth and Reconciliation Invoice and amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act, to raise it into line with Chapter 3 of the Constitution, guaranteeing fundamental human rights to all voters of South Africa.

Most not too long in the past he became once counsel for Morgan Tsvangirai, ragged chief of Zimbabwe’s opposition birthday celebration on charges of treason for an alleged jam to abolish President Robert Mugabe. Tsvangirai became once acquitted.

George Bizos waves as he takes phase in the worldwide ‘Mosey Collectively’ initiative tournament by Nelson Mandela’s neighborhood The Elders to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 100th Anniversary at Constitution Hill.

In June 1999 Bizos obtained the Hiss for Meritorious Service Class II from then president Mandela. He obtained the International Trial Attorney Prize of the Year by the International Academy of Trial Attorneys in 2001. In 2004 the International Bar Association (IBA) named Bizos the winner of the 2004 Bernard Simons Memorial Award and he has moreover obtained the Duma Nokwe Human Rights and Democracy Award. He became once awarded honorary doctorate degrees from the Universities of Natal (now KwaZulu-Natal), Cape City, the Witwatersrand, as successfully as Walter Sisulu College.

Bizos spent his later life working as senior counsel in the Constitutional Litigation Centre on the Proper Resources Centre in Johannesburg to signify folks threatened with eviction by officials of the South African government. He became once regarded as one of 3 executors of Mandela’s will, which controversially became once challenged by the slack president’s 2d companion, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, for leaving her nothing.

He’s survived by his three sons. Bizos’ companion Arethe died in 2017.