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Anti-apartheid icon George Bizos turns 90

George Bizos, who is one of the founding fathers of the South African Constitution, arrived in South Africa with his father in 1941 after fleeing World War Two at the age of 13.

Human rights lawyer and anti-apartheid activist George Bizos. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Anti-apartheid icon and human rights lawyer George Bizos celebrated his 90th birthday on Wednesday.

Bizos, who is one of the founding fathers of the South African Constitution, arrived in South Africa with his father in 1941 after fleeing World War Two at the age of 13.

He went on to play a major role in South Africa’s democracy, legally representing political activists such as Nelson Mandela, Govan Mbeki and Walter Sisulu.

Today, Bizos continues to practice law representing the most vulnerable, with his latest case being the killing of anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Timol.

In the backyard of the home of the renowned human rights lawyer, colourful flowers brighten the very modest Parktown property where he has lived for decades.

Bizos remembers receiving a call from Cyril Ramaphosa with a message from his longtime friend and client Mandela, asking him to join the team to write the Constitution.

“I said to Cyril, does that mean that I have to become a member of the ANC? And he said: 'No we don’t want that'.”

Bizos says that he initially applied to study medicine at Wits with the hope of becoming a doctor but was rejected and then opted to study law and never looked back.

WATCH: Bizos: ANC may not get majority vote in 2019