President Ramaphosa declares special official funeral for George Bizos

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President Cyril Ramaphosa described George Bizos as one of the best legal minds in South Africa who had contributed immensely to the attainment of democracy.
President Cyril Ramaphosa described George Bizos as one of the best legal minds in South Africa who had contributed immensely to the attainment of democracy.
Moeletsi Mabe, Gallo Images, The Times
  • George Bizos died peacefully at his home on Wednesday.
  • He is remembered as one of the key lawyers who represented anti-apartheid activists in political trials. 
  • President Cyril Ramaphosa has authorised that flags fly at half mast at all stations until the evening of Bizos' funeral on Thursday. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special official funeral for the late renowned human rights lawyer George Bizos.

The president has also authorised that the national flag be flown at half-mast at all stations countrywide from Saturday until the evening of the funeral on Thursday. 

Bizos died at his home of natural causes at the age of 92 on Wednesday. 

He was born in Kirani, Greece, and moved to South Africa with his father in 1941.

 

The anti-apartheid lawyer represented several struggle stalwarts during the Rivonia Trial, including late former president Nelson Mandela. 

READ | 'A huge tree of justice has fallen' - Pan-African Bar Association pays tribute to George Bizos

He also represented Walter Sisulu and Govan Mbeki. 

Ramaphosa described Bizos as one of the best legal minds in South Africa who had contributed immensely to the attainment of democracy.

"George Bizos was a well-known name and he had an incisive legal mind and was also one of the architects of our Constitution who contributed immensely and he will be sorely missed. We dip our heads in honour of the contribution he made to our democracy," he said. 

Tributes have been pouring in since the news of his death on Wednesday.

WRAP | Selfless, generous, larger than life: SA mourns legal titan George Bizos

The Legal Resources Centre saluted Bizos for his contribution to the ongoing work of the centre. 

He was also hailed for his role in mentoring many within the legal profession, inside and outside the LRC. 

Graca Machel, the widow of his life-long friend Mandela, also paid tribute to Bizos on Thursday, saying he was "the last of Madiba's closest friends to depart". 

Machel described Bizos as her towering older brother, friend and a barometer who had guided her during her darkest times.  

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