Bizos never abandoned his commitment to human rights: EFF

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Tributes have continued to pour in for the late renowned human rights lawyer George Bizos.

Bizos was born on 14 November 1927 in a tiny seaside village in Southern Greece.

Many including the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) have taken to social media to convey their condolences to the friends and family of Bizos.

The EFF has described him as a man who represented a dying breed of leaders that portrayed unrivalled integrity and selflessness.

Bizos died at his home in Johannesburg on Wednesday at the age of 92 after a period of poor health.

He was part of the legal teams of the Treason and Rivonia trials in 1956 and 1964 respectively, that defended the rights of activists including Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu, against the apartheid regime.

EFF spokesperson Delisile Ngwenya says a giant has fallen, one that has been at the centre of the country’s fight against injustice.

“He was part of the collective that drafted the country’s constitution which today is lauded as one of the best in the world. Bizos never abandoned his commitment to human rights even after the 1994 political dispensation. His loyalty to the cause of freedom and dignity can never be doubted. A giant tree has fallen may his soul rest in perfect and eternal peace,” adds Ngwenya.

Meanwhile, representative of the Nelson Mandela Foundation Luzuko Koti says Bizos fought for justice his entire life.

“We have seen that not only in the Rivonia trial which is the most famous trial that people will remember him for but for the cases he represented the people of Marikana in he continued to seek justice for everyone. For the down-trodden, for the poor, for those whose voices were not heard by the powers that be and we need that kind of cadreship today more than ever,” explains Koti.

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:

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