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Quiet hero leaves lasting legacy

Editorials 2 weeks ago

His death this week, at the age of 92, has deprived South Africa not only of a fine mind – legal and otherwise – but also of one of life’s true gentlemen.


11 Sep 2020
PREMIUM!
Quiet hero leaves lasting legacy

George Bizos at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory on February 3, 2014, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke read Nelson Mandela's will at a press conference attended by a large media contingent. Mandela has bequeathed R50 000 each to a number of personal staff. He has also left lump sums to his children and their descendants his wife, Graca Machel's children from her first marriage and other institutions. Mandela and Machel were married in community of property, so in addition to a list of specified assets, she is entitled to 50% of his assets. His ex-wife, Winnie Mandela, was not mentioned in the will. (Photo by Gallo Images / The Times / Alon Skuy)

From an early age, George Bizos was a hero. At the age of just 13, in 1941, he and his father risked their lives by helping New Zealand soldiers escape from German-occupied Greece to the island of Crete as war raged all around. When he later came to South Africa as a refugee – and then became a lawyer – he came face to face with apartheid, a slightly different shade of Nazism … and again made a stand. He was part of the team defending Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu in the Rivonia Treason Trial. However, he...

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