George Bizos felt he had to help those who suffered injustice - son
The 92-year-old human rights' veteran died on Wednesday.
JOHANNESBURG - George bizos' son, Damon, said that while his family was grieving, they'd always treasure the memories they had of his father as they celebrate his extraordinary legacy.
The family said that he only retired a year ago when they convinced him to stop, however, he still kept in touch with the Legal Resource Centre.
Damon Bizos said that his father's health started to deteriorate and they decided to keep him at his Parktown North home for many reasons - one of them was to keep him safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He passed away surrounded by family.
"Unfortunately, his health started to fail and it really was, I suppose, just old age. He started to deteriorate and we kept him at home for a number of reasons, first of all COVID-19 and not being able to visit him if he went to hospital. He wanted to be at home and we kept him here. He was comfortable and surrounded by family."
Damon said that his father was not a materialistic man and enjoyed the simple things in life.
"He built a house in Parktown North in 1959 and I was very young when I moved in and we never moved out. He looked after his wonderful vegetable garden. This is where he lived all his life. People kept asking him why he didn't get a bigger house and he really felt that his job was to help those that were persecuted and those who suffered injustice."
‘HE TRIED TO KEEP FAMILY TIME SEPARATE’
Damon remembered his father as a balanced man who made time for his family while remaining deeply committed to his work to help people find justice.
He said that although his father was a hard worker, he always had time to slow down for his family.
“Sundays were usually reserved for family time and there were big Greek family lunches that went until late in the night. We had an extended family of friends that we really had a wonderful childhood with,” Damon said.
Damon said that as a result of the nature of his business, his father often met with Nelson Mandela in secret and disappeared for days without telling them where he was.
“He was a very confidential person when it was necessary. But he protected us, and he tried to keep the family time separate, and we thanked him for that,” he said.
LISTEN: Paying tribute to a giant - George Bizos’ obituary
ONE OF SA'S FINEST FREEDOM FIGHTERS
Former deputy Chief Justice Dikgang Moseneke on Thursday remembered the late George Bizos as one of the finest lawyers and freedom fighters South Africa had seen.
Bizos was well known for representing the Rivonia Trialists and The Cradock Four.
Moseneke said that Bizos was very special to him.
“He always understood the value of people, their importance, and why the struggle for liberation ought to be supported,” he said.
The former Constitutional Court judge said that Bizos also stood firmly against racism and actively fought against it.
“We had to fight, we had to combat racism at every level, at every front, [and] we had that obligation. And George Bizos he hated racism, that is why he was on the side of the oppressed in order to change society for the better,” Moseneke said.