Special official funeral for George Bizos
President Cyril Ramaphosa has declared a special official funeral for the late renowned human rights lawyer George Bizos.
He 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.
Lawyer, George Bizos represented several struggle stalwarts during the Rivonia Trial, including late former president Nelson Mandela.
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 Bizo’s death on Wednesday.
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.
Bizos was born in Kirani, Greece. He came to South Africa with his father in 1941.
He dedicated his legal career to fighting for basic human rights, while representing numerous high-profile activists in political trials including Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and other accused in both the 1956 Treason and 1963 Rivonia trials.
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