President saddened by passing of Human Rights Champion George Bizos

President Cyril Ramaphosa is deeply saddened by the passing today, Wednesday, 9 September 2020, of veteran human rights defender Adv George Bizos SC.

Adv Bizos has passed away at the age of 92.

President Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the family of the late Adv Bizos, to the legal fraternity and to the nation at large.

The President said: “This is sad news for all of us as South Africans. George Bizos contributed immensely to the attainment of our democracy.

“He worked very closely with Nelson Mandela, Arthur Chaskalson and many others. He had an incisive legal mind and was one of the architects of our Constitution.

“We will forever remember his contribution.”

Adv Bizos devoted his career to the defence of human rights and served as counsel to leaders of the liberation movement as much as he assisted ordinary South Africans in realising socio-economic rights under apartheid as well as during the democratic dispensation.

Adv Bizos served as legal counsel to Nelson Mandela for many years and was among the panel of lawyers who represented defendants in the Rivonia Trial.

He was acknowledged globally as a campaigner for human rights who defied and exposed the apartheid state through its own legal system and shielded citizens from injustice and harassment by the state.

President Ramaphosa says: “We have lost a monumental figure in our history; a patriot who marched with us to freedom and laid the foundations for a democratic South Africa in which the rule of law affirms the dignity, rights and protection of all who live in South Africa.”

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