Τρίτη, 17 Δεκεμβρίου 2013

Ένας Έλληνας στη σκιά του Νέλσον Μαντέλα


I doubt it whether there is any man or woman in Greece who has not heard in the past few weeks that Nelson Mandela has passed away. Who has not come to know that Mandela had won a Peace Nobel Prize in 1993.

Who has not admired his mottos that have spread all over the internet. Who has not felt taken aback by the fact that this man survived 27 years in prison because he supported the right of black people to equality. Yet, how many people in this country know that one of the best companions of Mandela was George Bizos, a prominent figure of the viral Greek community of South Africa?
George Bizos and Nelson Mandela met at law school, long before Mandela was imprisoned. A great friendship began then, which was not hindered by the arrest and imprisonment of the young African politician. During Mandela’s long years in prison, Bizos stood by his friend’s side, and represented him in all of his court trials. Meanwhile, he became a prominent member of the Hellenic community in South Africa, and founded SAHETI School (South African Hellenic Educational and Technological Institute). The school aimed at diffusing the ideals of Hellenism to students in South Africa. It was one of the first schools that welcomed all students, irrespective of the colour of their skin. Nowadays, it is one of the best educational institutes in South Africa.

On many occasions, Bizos has reported details about his friendship with Mandela. In one of his latest interviews, he made reference to the amazing sense of humour that Mandela had. In this respect, he shared an incident, when both Mandela and De Klerk, the white president of South Africa, were presented with the Nobel Peace Prize. Bizos was there too, by Mandela’s side. When Mandela was asked about his long years in jail, he pointed at Bizos, and said:
“This is my lawyer. It was his fault that I have spent so many years in prison!”

                                                                 May he rest in peace. 


PS: Can you identify the motto of the SAHETI school?

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