Namibia mourns Bizos

10 September 2020 | International

JEMIMA BEUKES

WINDHOEK

Namibia has joined the world in mourning legendary South African human rights lawyer, advocate George Bizos, who represented Nelson Mandela and many other anti-apartheid stalwarts during the darkest days of the brutal apartheid regime.
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, who announced Bizos’ passing on Wednesday, described him as “an incisive legal mind and architect of our constitution”.
President Hage Geingob yesterday extended the Namibian nation’s condolences to the Bizos family and the South African nation.
The 92-year-old Bizos, whose health took a dive in recent months, died of natural causes at his Johannesburg home on Wednesday evening.

‘Courageous defender of justice’
“With the death of George Bizos, South Africa has lost a giant and a courageous defender of justice who stood firm on the side of rights and freedom for the black majority in South Africa and the region. Comrade Bizos, who defended comrades Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki at the Rivonia trial in 1963-64, leaves behind a legacy of outstanding service during the struggle for equal rights in South Africa,” Geingob said.
Bizos, who was the last surviving member of the Rivonia trial defence team, was born in Greece in 1927 and arrived in South Africa in 1941 with his father. He committed his life to defending human rights and played a pivotal role in ending apartheid rule.

‘Legal guru’
Popular Democratic Movement leader McHenry Venaani also expressed his condolences.
“With sadness we learn of the passing of a freedom fighter and legal guru who defended President Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia trial and (Zimbabwe) Prime Minister (Morgan) Tsvangirai’s treason case in Zimbabwe.
“His labour was upright and honourable; his mind was razor sharp and inspired many across the continent,” Venaani said.

[email protected]