Human rights icon and former President Nelson Mandela’s lawyer, George Bizos has passed away. The celebrated 92-year-old represented many struggle heroes including the Rivonia Trialists.

Bizos was a refugee of World War Two – arriving on South African shores with his father at the tender age of 13.

George Bizos was born on 14 November 1927 in a tiny seaside village in Southern Greece. In his adopted country, South Africa, he went on to become one of our most acclaimed human rights lawyers.

On hearing of the news, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Bizos’ passing as a very sad moment for our country.

President Ramaphosa on Bizos’ passing:

Bizos also represented the families of activists killed in police detention including black consciousness leader Steve Biko.

He played a critical role in South Africa’s transition from apartheid to democracy and had a hand in the drafting of the interim constitution and the Bill of Rights. He continued his work well beyond retirement age – most notably as the head of one of the legal teams representing the deceased Marikana miners.

In the file video below, George Bizos speaks about the Freedom Charter: