George Bizos rejoins his lifelong friend

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George Bizos rejoins his lifelong friend

Struggle hero George Bizos died on Wednesday, aged 91. This article on him was written in 2017

Deputy features editor: Sunday Times

Many great men come from humble origins, and extraordinary friendships are often born in unremarkable places. George Bizos met the mythical figure now known as Madiba — to Bizos always just a man named Nelson — at the University of the Witwatersrand in 1948.

When the government announced plans to limit the number of black medical students at “open” universities, Bizos the below-radar refugee, stood up at a mass meeting and proposed that all students go on strike should this unholy quota system be implemented.

“And so it was,” writes Bizos in his new book, 65 Years of Friendship, “that a few days later, Nelson Mandela strode up to me on the steps of the Great Hall, smiling his wonderful smile.”..

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