Human rights advocate George Bizos dies at age 92
The Bizos family, the Legal Resources Centre, and the George Bizos SAHETI Scholarship and Bursary Fund have confirmed the passing of Advocate George Bizos SC earlier this evening.
George, 92 years old, died peacefully at home of natural causes, attended to by family.
Meanwhile, South Africans have taken to social media to express their shock at the stalwart’s passing.
In a joint statement with the Bizo's family and the George Bizos Saheti Scholarship, the Legal Resource Centre saluted Bizos saying he had "made an enormous contribution to the ongoing work of the Centre."
"From its inception in 1978, he assisted in the background while pursuing his illustrious career, then joined the LRC in 1991, using our Centre as a base in key litigation including leading the team for the government in passing the Constitution in 1996, representing families of apartheid atrocities at the TRC," the organisation said.
In a tweet, Ahmed Kathrada Foundation chief executive Nishan Bolton said he was immensely saddened by Bizo's passing describing him as a "towering giant in so many faces of our liberation struggle."
Bizo's close friend Hillary Hamburger whose husband Denis Kuny worked with Bizos on all political trials said: "I remember him as a great lawyer. I've known him for about 50 years as he worked with Denis. We were very closely knit with his family in the early days. We used to spend time together. George was a great cook. Great lawyer and great freedom fighter."
Hamburger maintained that Bizos' legacy and contribution to a new and better South Africa should be celebrated by all.
Bizos is renowned for being part of the lawyers who defended Rivonia trialist Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu between 19623 to 1964.
He also represented the families of the late former SACP leader Chris Hani and Black Consciousness movement leader and anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko at the Truth and Reconciliation hearings in the 90s.
ANC Veterans' League President Snuki Zikala meanwhile said Bizos had fought a good race and had done well for South Africa.
Like many others, he commended him for his humanity and his willingness to inspire many.
Bizos is survived by his three sons and seven grandchildren.
Funeral arrangements will be announced as soon and posted on www.georgebizos.com.
We have lost a legend. Deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Human Rights Advocate George Bizos. South Africa owes you a debt of gratitude.— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) September 9, 2020
May you rest in eternal peace.#RIPGeorgeBizos pic.twitter.com/MaQ2QGesR4
He fought a good fight in pursuit of a Just South Africa that belongs to all who live in it. Sad to see this resolute social justice and integrity crusader go to join Madiba and his other compatriots. Heartfelt Condolences to the family, friends and colleagues #RIPGeorgeBizos pic.twitter.com/XrmfZi85Cc— Prof Thuli Madonsela (@ThuliMadonsela3) September 9, 2020
Sad to hear the news of the passing of George Bizos. An advocate and champion for human rights, as well as a giant of the struggle for freedom in South Africa. A life of activism and service well lived. My sincerest condolences to his family. #RIPGeorgeBizos— John Steenhuisen MP (@jsteenhuisen) September 9, 2020