The anti-apartheid activist, and personal lawyer to Nelson Mandela, George Bizos has died at the age of 92.
The South African became prominent for serving as the lawyer who represented Nelson Mandela and others who fought against the apartheid regime.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to him saying it was a very sad moment for the country.
He said Mr Bizos would be sorely missed and that South Africans would forever remember his contribution to democracy.
The news of the passing of #GeorgeBizos is very sad for us as a country. An incisive legal mind and architect of our Constitution, he contributed immensely to our democracy. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and dip our heads in his honour. pic.twitter.com/yUCgNuvKDX
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 #StaySafe (@CyrilRamaphosa) September 9, 2020
Bizos was born in 1927 in Greece but arrived in South Africa as a World War II refugee with his father in 1941.
He studied law after his application to study medicine was rejected. Soon after his law studies he become political activist, opposing apartheid.
Bizos helped draft South Africa’s constitution ushering the country into a constitutional rule when apartheid ended.
Besides representing Nelson Mandela at the Rivonia Trial where the former President and other top ANC colleagues were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1964, also represented many high profile political activists.
In 2012 Mr Bizos led the enquiry into the Marikana Massacre that saw the killing of 34 mine workers by South African police.