George Bizos


Bizos was the son of Antonios (known to his family and friends as “Antoni”) Bizos, the mayor of the small village of Vasilitsi, south of Koroni and Kalamata on the Messinian peninsula of the Peloponese, Greece. Koroni (Κορώνη is a town and municipality in Messenia, Greece of Arvanite origin Kalamata (Καλαμάτα Kalamáta, formerly Καλάμαι Kalámai) is the second-largest city of the Peloponnese in southern Greece Greece (Ελλάδα transliterated: Elláda, historically, Ellás,) officially the Hellenic Republic (Ελληνική Δημοκρατία In May 1941 at the age of thirteen, George Bizos and his father helped seven New Zealand soldiers (Don Gladding, Mick Karup, Peter Martin, John Lewis and three others) who where hiding in the hills to escape Nazi-occupied Greece to Crete. Year 1941 ( MCMXLI) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (the link will display 1941 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. New Zealand is an Island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses (the North Island and the South Island Nazism, which was a short name for National Socialism (Nationalsozialismus refers primarily to the Ideology and practices of the National Socialist German Crete ( Greek: Κρήτη transliteration: Krētē, modern transliteration Kriti) is the largest of the Greek islands and the He says the escape did not go well and he was adrift for three days until he managed to attract the attention of crew on the British destroyer, HMS Kimberley, which was on its way to the Battle of Crete. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Construction and commissioning Kimberley was ordered from the yards of John I The Battle of Crete ( German Luftlandeschlacht um Kreta; Greek Μάχη της Κρήτης) was a battle during World War II After the battle HMS Kimberley dropped him off at Alexandria, Egypt. Alexandria ( Egyptian Arabic: اسكندريه Eskendereyya; Standard Arabic: ar الإسكندرية Al-Iskandariyya; Ἀλεξάνδρεια This article is about the country of Egypt For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic Egypt topics. [1]

As a refugee he was sent to South Africa and landed in Durban. Durban (eThekwini is the third most populous city in South Africa, forming part of the EThekwini metropolitan municipality. From there he went by train to Johannesburg. Johannesburg ( Pronounced /jō-hān’ĭs-bûrg’/ is the largest city in South Africa. He disembarked at the Braamfontein railway station because it was feared that the Ossewabrandwag would have a demonstration at the central station. The Ossewabrandwag (&quotOxwagon Sentinel” (OB was a nationalist Afrikaner organisation in South Africa, founded in Bloemfontein on February The Ossewabrandwag blamed Jan Smuts for bringing the vuilgoed (rubbish) of Europe to South Africa. Field Marshal Jan Christiaan Smuts, OM, CH, PC, ED, KC, FRS (24 May 1870 – 11 September 1950 was a prominent The local Greek community helped integrate him into society. The Greeks ( Greek: Έλληνες) are a Nation and Ethnic group native to Greece, Cyprus and neighbouring regions Bizos did not immediately go to school because he could not speak English or Afrikaans but by 1948 — the year that the National Party was voted into power — Bizos had managed to gain entry into the law faculty at the University of the Witwatersrand. English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Afrikaans is an Indo-European language, derived from 17th century Dutch and classified as Low Franconian Germanic, mainly spoken in Year 1948 ( MCMXLVIII) was a Leap year starting on Thursday (link will display the 1948 calendar of the Gregorian calendar. The National Party ( Afrikaans: Nasionale Party) (with its members sometimes known as Nationalists or Nats) was the governing party of The University of the Witwatersrand Johannesburg is a leading South African University situated in the northern areas of central Johannesburg. It was here that he says he first became politically active.

Bizos joined the Bar in Johannesburg in 1954. A bar association is a Professional body of Lawyers Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their Jurisdiction Johannesburg ( Pronounced /jō-hān’ĭs-bûrg’/ is the largest city in South Africa. Year 1954 ( MCMLIV) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1954 Gregorian calendar) He was counsel to Trevor Huddleston of Sophiatown in the 1950s, and since then has also been counsel to Nelson Mandela. Ernest Urban Trevor Huddleston KCMG ( June 15, 1913 – April 20, 1998) was an Anglican priest one-time Archbishop Sophiatown (pronounced with a long stressed i) (also known as Sof’town or Kofifi) is a suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela (xolíɬaɬa mandéːla born 18 July 1918 is a former President of South Africa, the first to be elected in fully representative He was part of the team that defended Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu in the Rivonia Trial in 196364, in which the defendants were sentenced to life imprisonment, but spared the death penalty. Govan Archibald Mvuyelwa Mbeki ( 9 July 1910 – 30 August 2001) was a South African Politician, and father of the former Walter Max Ulyate Sisulu ( May 18, 1912 – May 5, 2003) was a South African anti- Apartheid activist and member of the The Rivonia Trial was a trial that took place in South Africa between 1963 and 1964, in which ten leaders of the African National Congress Year 1963 ( MCMLXIII) was a Common year starting on Tuesday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Year 1964 ( MCMLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the 1964 Gregorian calendar. Although it is sometimes said that he claims to have drafted Mandela’s famous speech spoken at the trial, he says that his main contribution was to advise the use of the words “if needs be” before Mandela said that he was prepared to die. Bizos believes that this may have contributed to the avoidance of the death penalty by having Mandela not appear to seek martyrdom. This trial heralded the arrival of a group of tough human rights lawyers — Joel Joffe, Arthur Chaskalson and Harold Hanson. Joel Goodman Joffe Baron Joffe CBE (born 1932 is a Labour peer in the House of Lords. Arthur Chaskalson, (born November 24, 1931) former President of the Constitutional Court of South Africa (1994-2001 and Chief Justice of South Africa Harold Joseph Hanson ( 9 August 1904 – 17 February 1973) was an eminent South African Advocate ( QC) and Senior He has defended Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on more than 20 occasions. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela (born September 26 1936 as Nomzamo Winifred Zanyiwe Madikizela) is a South African politician who has held several government

Bizos was counsel at the inquests into the deaths in detention of Ahmed Timol in 1971, of Steve Biko in 1977, and of Dr Neil Agget in 1982. Year 1971 ( MCMLXXI) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full calendar of the 1971 Gregorian calendar. Stephen Bantu Biko December 1946 – 12 September 1977 was a noted anti-[[apartheid] activist in South Africa in the 1960s and early Also 1977 (album by Ash. Year 1977 ( MCMLXXVII) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays Year 1982 ( MCMLXXXII) was a Common year starting on Friday (link displays the 1982 Gregorian calendar) He has represented the family of Chris Hani, and defended Mac Maharaj during the Little Rivonia Trial. Chris Hani, born Martin Thembisile Hani ( June 28, 1942 – April 10, 1993) was the leader of the South African Communist Sathyandranath Ragunanan &quotMac” Maharaj (born April 22, 1935 in Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa) is a South African politician The Little Rivonia Trial was a South African Apartheid -era court case in which several members of the armed resistance group Umkhonto we Sizwe faced charges

In the 1970s Bizos helped start a Greek school, called SAHETI. [2] It embraced Hellenism, yet was non-exclusionist, even during the heart of apartheid. The Culture of Greece has evolved over thousands of years with its beginnings in the Mycenaean and Minoan Civilizations, continuing most notably into Classical Greece It was here that people like Chris Hani’s children were educated. [3]

He has been a senior member of the Johannesburg Bar since 1978. He is a member of the National Council of Lawyers for Human Rights, which he helped found in 1979. He is Senior Counsel at the Legal Resources Centre in Johannesburg in the Constitutional Litigation Unit. He was a judge on Botswana‘s Court of Appeal from 1985 to 1993. The Republic of Botswana (Lefatshe la Botswana is a Landlocked nation in Southern Africa. Bizos was counsel to United Democratic Front leaders, including future provincial Premiers Patrick Lekota and Popo Molefe in the Delmas Treason Trial, 1985-89. Mosiuoa Gerard Patrick Lekota (born 13 August 1948) is a South African politician who was Minister of Defence from 17 June 1999 to 25 September Popo Simon Molefe (born 1952 in the Sophiatown district of Johannesburg) is a South African politician and the former Premier of the North West Province The Delmas Treason Trial (1985&ndash1988 in South Africa was the prosecution of 22 anti- Apartheid activists under security laws In 1990 he became a member of the African National Congress‘s Legal and Constitutional Committee, and at Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) he served as advisor to the negotiating teams and participated in drawing up the Interim Constitution. The African National Congress (ANC has been South Africa ‘s governing party supported by its Tripartite alliance with the Congress of South African Trade Unions The apartheid system in South Africa was ended through a series of negotiations between 1990 and 1993 and through unilateral steps by the De Klerk government He was involved of the drafting of legislation, and particularly the Truth and Reconciliation Bill and amendments to the Criminal Procedures Act, to bring it into line with Chapter 3 of the constitution, guaranteeing fundamental human rights to all citizens of South Africa.

In the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings, he was the leader of the team that opposed applications for amnesty on behalf of the Biko, Hani, Goniwe, Calata, Mkonto, Mhlauli, Slovo and Schoon families. This is about the South African body For similar bodies in other countries see Truth commission. He was appointed by then President Mandela to the Judicial Services Commission which, in terms of the constitution, recommends candidates for appointment as judges and proposes reforms to the judicial system to erase its apartheid past. Bizos was the leader of the team for the South African Government to argue that the death penalty was unconstitutional, and counsel for the National Assembly in the Certification of the Constitution by the Constitutional Court.

He was part of the team that successfully defended the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change‘s leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who was charged with planning a coup d’état by conspiring to assassinate President Robert Mugabe before the 2002 general elections. See also Great Zimbabwe National Monument. For information about the March and June 2008 presidential elections see Zimbabwean presidential election The Movement for Democratic Change ( MDC) is a Zimbabwean Political party. Morgan Richard Tsvangirai ( English ˈtʃæŋgəˈraɪ Shona ts͡ɸaŋgiˈra

In 2005, Bizos was legal advisor to Nelson Mandela in a bitter legal dispute with Mandela’s former attorney, Ismail Ayob. Ismail Mahomed Ayob (born 1942 is a prominent South African Lawyer. [4][5][6][7]

  • 10 June 1999 he received the Order for Meritorious Service Class II medal from then President Mandela. Events 1190 – Third Crusade: Frederick I Barbarossa drowns in the Sally River while leading an army to Jerusalem Year 1999 ( MCMXCIX) was a Common year starting on Friday (link will display full 1999 Gregorian calendar)
  • 5 April 2001 he was awarded the 2001 International Trial Lawyer Prize of the Year by the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. Events 456 – St Patrick returns to Ireland as a missionary bishop Year 2001 ( MMI) was a Common year starting on Monday according to the Gregorian calendar.
  • The International Bar Association (IBA) named Bizos the winner of the 2004 Bernard Simons Memorial Award[1]


Bizos is the author of No One to Blame – In Pursuit of Justice in South Africa published in 1998. The International Bar Association (IBA is an international association of Lawyers from different countries &quotMMIV” redirects here For the Modest Mouse album see ” Baron von Bullshit Rides Again ” Year 1998 ( MCMXCVIII) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full 1998 Gregorian calendar)

His autobiography Odyssey to Freedom was published in early 2007 by Random House, and runs to more than 600 pages.


Bizos is married to Arethe, known as “Rita”, and has three sons, two of them surgeons and the other an engineer. He has seven grandchildren.


  1. ^ a b Media Challenge: Who and Where Are the Seven? (October 22, 2004).
  2. ^ Saheti school website
  3. ^ George Bizos. Odyssey – The World of Greece. Retrieved on 200704-03. Year 2007 ( MMVII) was a Common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar in the 21st century. Events 1043 – Edward the Confessor is crowned King of England.
  4. ^ Business Day – News Worth Knowing
  5. ^ – south_africa/general
  6. ^ Poor Ismail Ayob : Mail & Guardian Online
  7. ^ Friday Khutbar – – Muslim Forum

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