WATCH | Ramaphosa delivers touching speech at Bizos funeral

17 September 2020 - 17:36 By Emile Bosch

Renowned human rights advocate George Bizos was laid to rest at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg on Thursday, after passing away on September 9.

The 93-year-old lawyer famously represented Nelson Mandela as a junior council on his legal team during the historic Rivonia trial, where he was credited as sparing Mandela from the death sentence by instructing him to add the words “if needs be” to his trial address.

President Cyril Ramaphosa joined other notable members of state in honouring the human rights lawyer at the Hellenic Cultural Centre.

“It is only the rarest of individuals upon whom the title 'champion of the oppressed' is bestowed,” said Ramaphosa.

He had declared the funeral a category 1 state funeral, SA's highest honour.

Bizos has also been credited as playing an integral part in the formation of democracy in SA, as well as working consistently as a human rights activist.

The Bizos family and the nation as a whole mourn the loss of this human rights icon.