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Podcast: George Bizos Remembers His Friend, Nelson Mandela

Odyssey to FreedomGeorge Bizos gave two interviews on Talk Radio 702 about Nelson Mandela, who passed away on Thursday. Bizos is an old friend of Mandela’s and he says that after hearing the news he reflected on their days studying together at Wits University in the late 1940s.

“You wonder whether we will ever find another to do so much for so many in the country,” Bizos says. In the second podcast, and in this article for the Mail & Guardian, he recalls the time of the Rivonia Trial when he represented Mandela.

Nelson Mandela’s commitment to the struggle for freedom started more than 15 years before he and many others decided, towards the end of 1961, that peaceful resistance was no longer the only option available to the oppressed people of South Africa.

The decision to form Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) to attack symbols of apartheid was not easily taken. But as a result of the Sharpeville massacre – during which 69 people were killed and 180 were injured by police at a non-violent protest for the abolition of the pass laws – on March 21 1960, the banning of the African National Congress, and the detention of the leaders of the ANC – and particularly those facing a charge of treason – they were persuaded that the decision was inevitable.

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