Advocate George Bizos received an honorary doctorate in law. He acted as an advocate in the 1950s for Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo's law firm, and had a part in all the major trials of the 50-year-long struggle against apartheid. He is credited with helping craft Mandela's impassioned plea to the court during the famous Rivonia Trial, said to have swayed the judge from passing the death sentence on Mandela.
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The university has bestowed high academic honours in the form of degrees awarded honoris causa on the following distinguished men and women.