Renowned Anti-apartheid lawyer who defended Mandela, George Bizos dies aged 92

George Bizos, Greek-South African human rights lawyer and Nelson Mandela

Top South African human rights lawyer George Bizos, who famously defended Nelson Mandela, has died aged 92.

His family said he “died peacefully at home of natural causes”.

Mr Bizos became one of the architects of South Africa’s new constitution after representing some of the country’s best known political activists during the apartheid years.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his death, saying Mr Bizos had “contributed immensely to our democracy”.

Leading tributes on Wednesday, President Cyril Ramaphosa described Mr Bizos as an “incisive legal mind”, and said his death was “very sad for us as a country”.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation said “another giant of South African history and of global struggles for justice has fallen.”

George Bizos met Mandela while studying law in Johannesburg and went on to represent him and other anti-apartheid figures in various court cases.

In his autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, Mandela describes Mr Bizos as “a man who combined a sympathetic nature with an incisive mind”.

The Mandela foundation said the friendship between the men “spanned more than seven decades and was legendary.”

“In the last years of Mandela’s life, they were often to be found together, just catching up, sharing memories, or heading off on car rides to see, one more time, places of significance in their life journeys,” it added.

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