George Bizos

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George Bizos "is a renowned human rights lawyer. Counsel to Nelson Mandela since the mid 1950’s, he was part of the team that defended him, Walter Sisulu, Govan Mbeki and others in the Rivonia Trial in 1963/4. He was counsel in numerous political trials including the Biko, Timol, Aggett inquests, the Totivo ja Toiva Trial of the Namibians, the Bram Fischer Trial and the UDF leaders charged with treason in the Delmas Trial. He defended Winnie Mandela in numerous trials from the late 1950’s to 1992, defended Albertina Sisulu, Barbara Hogan and other women particularly those who defed the carrying of passes from the mid 1950’s. He was appointed by President Mandela to South Africa’s Judicial Services Commission to recommend candidates for Judicial offce and reform of the Judicial system to erase its apartheid past. He was reappointed by President Mbeki.

"Mr Bizos led the team that defended Morgan Tswangarai in Zimbabwe in 2003/4 on a charge of treason. He led the team for the South African Government to argue that the death penalty was unconstitutional. He opposed applications for amnesty on behalf of the Biko, Hani, Goniwe, Calata, Mkonto and Mhlauli, the Slovo and Schoon families at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He served as Judge on Botswana’s Court of Appeal 1985-1993. He continues to act as Counsel at the Legal Resources Centre, Constitutional Litigation Unit, which he has done since 1991. He has received numerous prestigious South African and international awards for his work in promoting democracy and human rights. He has written two books - No One to Blame? and Odyssey to Freedom." [1]

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  1. George Bizos, agora-dialogue, accessed February 25, 2010.