Advocate George Bizos, who has died at the age of 92, stands in the pantheon of South African human rights lawyers and anti-apartheid activists.
Throughout his lengthy lifetime, he doggedly used the courts as his chosen terrain to fight back against a police state that blatantly violated the rule of law. His lifelong commitment to human rights left a legacy in South Africa’s constitution and bill of rights. He knew that democracy is not a destination but a lifelong quest: eternal vigilance is the price of liberty.
Bizos was among a number of young white people who arrived in South Africa as refugees from Europe, only to find themselves forced to align themselves with the oppressed black majority against apartheid. This company includes Joe Slovo, Lithuanian by birth, and also an advocate by training, who became leader of the South African Communist Party.
Bizos was born in 1927 in the