Bizos died of natural causes at the age of 92 in his home in peace with his family, a statement released by the family said.
President Cyril Ramphausa announced his death, saying that the Bizos news was “very sad for us as a country.”
“He became like a well-loved uncle to us. We were in awe of him, yet he always associated us with humility, affection and respect.”
The foundation said that Bizos’ friendship with Mandela spanned more than seven decades, and in the final years of Mandela’s life, he often found “capturing and sharing memories”.
Bijos studied law at the University of Johannesburg’s Witwetersand with Mandela and fellow civil rights activist, Oliver Tambo. They became friends and worked together as young advocates.
Bizos was Mandela’s lawyer in 1964 on charges of sabotage and facing the death penalty. Instead, he was sentenced to life in prison and sentenced to 27 years.
Bizos said that Mandela eventually earned the respect of his jailers. He introduced Bizos to his “Guard of Honor” on Robben Island, the 12 white Afrikaner wardens who accompanied him.
“He wanted to persuade the people of South Africa as a whole that they did not have to fear fundamental changes in the country,” Bijos said.
After Mandela’s release, Bijos helped write the country’s new constitution to the constitutional committee of the African National Congress.
“[He asked us to] Create a constitution that is good for our country and not for the good of our organization. We tried to do that and I think we were successful, ”said Bijos.