The world would not have been a better place to live if it were not of some great men who did great works. For example, the issue of human rights has been going on since Mandela’s and Malcolm X’s times. They fought against the violation of human rights. Other great men also lost their lives in the process of seeking justice in their countries. George Bizos is one of the people who fought for the freedom we enjoy today.
Recently, there has been an increase in human rights violations. George Floyd, an African-American lost his life after a white police officer physically mishandled him. This arose protests all over the world. People have labeled the United States as ‘poor’ in protecting black citizens.
Due to this problem of human rights violations, organizations and activists have come up to protect people’s rights. Some human rights activists have suffered severely in the process. George Bizos, a human rights lawyer who lived during apartheid rule in South Africa, has died. He also defended Nelson Mandela, the Former President of South Africa, at his court trials.
Who is George Bizos?
George Bizos was born on 14th November 1927. He was a Greek-South African lawyer who was against the apartheid rule in SA. Mr. Bizos defended the people of anti-apartheid activists whom the government executed throughout the trials of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. George was the son of Antoni Bizos, the mayor of Vasilitsi. At the age of 13, together with his father, they aided more than 5 New Zealand army soldiers to escape Nazi-occupied Greece. Some of the soldiers were Don Gladding, Mick Karup, Peter Martin, and John Lewis.
Bizos went to the University of the Witwatersrand in 1949. He did a Bachelor of Arts degree and an LLB law degree. Later, he joined the Students’ Representative Council under the headship of Harold. South Africa recognizes him as the designer of South Africa’s new constitution.
What President Cyril Ramaphosa Said
After the death of Bizos, President Cyril Ramaphosa gave his condolences and said that Bizos added to the country’s democracy. He also said that his death saddened the people of South Africa.
His Relationship with Nelson Mandela
People acknowledge the great commitment and collaboration between Mr. Bizos and Nelson Mandela. The 2 met while studying for law in Joburg. He represented Nelson Mandela during the Rivonia Trial.
What the Nelson Mandela Foundation Said
The Nelson Mandela Foundation said George played a very important role during the period of Mandela’s imprisonment. It also said that the friendship between them existed for over 70 years.
The foundation says:
“In the last years of Mandela’s life, people found them together, just catching up, and sharing memories. They also saw them heading off on car rides to see, one more time, places of significance in their life journeys.”
Indeed, George Bizos was a great example that people need to follow. From his story, we also learn the importance of building great relationships and friendships with other people. As South Africa mourns for him, we hope that other great people will come up and continue with George’s works.