Advocate George Bizos. Picture: Steve Lawrence/African News Agency (ANA)
Advocate George Bizos. Picture: Steve Lawrence/African News Agency (ANA)

George Bizos was a champion of the downtrodden, says ANC

By Jonisayi Maromo Time of article published Sep 10, 2020

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Pretoria - The African National Congress party on Thursday paid tribute to late human rights lawyer George Bizos who died the previous day, describing him as one of the country’s foremost legal eagles.

“In George Bizos we have lost one of the finest lawyers, a principled champion of the downtrodden, who remained unwavering in his commitment to justice until the last days of his life,” ANC national spokesman Pule Mabe said in a statement.

Mabe said Bizos, who was born in Greece and came to South Africa as a refugee in 1941, was imbued with a sense of justice and opposition to fascism and oppression from a young age.

The young Bizos became politically active as a law student at the University of the Witwatersrand in the late 1940s and early 1950s.

“As a lawyer George Bizos was fearless, principled, committed and a legendary cross-examiner who was ruthlessly effective in exposing the lies, brutality and moral bankruptcy of the apartheid regime and its agents,” said Mabe.

“His legal practice was inextricably intertwined with the history of the struggle against apartheid and for the realisation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous and just South Africa.”

The ANC spokesman narrated how Bizos represented numerous leaders of the liberation movement, including Albertina Sisulu, Trevor Huddleston, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, Mac Maharaj, Rob Adam, Mosioa Lekota, Popo Molefe and many others.

“During the Rivonia Trial he was part of a formidable team of activist lawyers consisting of Bram Fischer, Vernon Berrange, Arthur Chaskalson and Joel Joffe, who represented members of the high command of uMkhonto we Sizwe - Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki, Ahmed Kathrada, Andrew Mlangeni, Raymond Mhlaba, Elias Motsoaledi and Denis Goldberg, facing the threat of being sentenced to death,” Mabe added.

He said the ANC extended its deepest condolences to Bizos’s sons Alexi, Damon and Kimon and the entire Bizos family.

“May his revolutionary soul rest in power,” Mabe added.

African News Agency/ANA

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