Bizos: Corruption would disappoint Madiba

2014-12-05 17:35

Former president Nelson Mandela would have been disappointed by the ongoing corruption in the country, says veteran human rights lawyer George Bizos.

“Madiba would be disappointed by the corruption. I am happy that its exposure is growing by the day,” he said at a commemoration of Mandela’s death today.

Mandela had respect for the courts and the law.

Bizos said Mandela had apologised on national television after an opposition party took him to the Constitutional Court for exceeding his constitutional powers.

“The court ruled against Mandela, and he immediately went on television and said he was disappointed that he made a mistake regarding his powers as a president, and he apologised to the nation.”

Bizos recalled a phone call from now acting President Cyril Ramaphosa in 1990, following the unbanning of political parties.

Ramaphosa told Bizos that he and other legal minds had been selected to help draft the country’s post-apartheid Constitution.

Ramaphosa was the African National Congress secretary general at the time.

“I want to remind him of that day, that the ANC decided to appoint myself, Arthur Chaskalson, and others to help draft the Constitution.”

He said he jokingly asked Ramaphosa if he had to be a card carrying member of the ANC to do the work.

“He said ‘You don’t have to be an ANC member... we can do away with your R12 fee’,” Bizos said to laughter, from among others, Ramaphosa.

Mandela had thanked the team for drafting the Constitution.

“He came to our offices in Johannesburg CBD and thanked us for the efforts we made, and added that he was thankful that we put together a Constitution that is good for SA as a whole, and not only for the organisation,” said Bizos.

Mandela died at the age of 95 at his home in Houghton, Johannesburg, on December 5 last year.

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