Charles Lazarus, a well-known Bulawayo lawyer who defended many black nationalists in the 1960s and 1970s, died at his home in Hillside, on March 27.
He was a prominent human rights advocate, and led a team of lawyers that included Herbert Chitepo and the former Chief Justice Tony Gubbay in defending many ANC and ZAPU detainees prior to independence.
Lazarus also defended Joseph Msika, Joshua Nkomo, Enos Nkala and Akim Ndlovu, among many others. He was proud to relate that the last time he saw the late Welshman Mabhena, Welshman said to him “Charles, you are one of us”.
Lazarus was a founding member of the Centre Party and a member of the International Commission of Jurists. He was elected to the Council of the South African Institute of Race Relations and acted as a legal advisor to the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace.
He served on the boards of many businesses and charities including Zim Care Trust, the Bulawayo Society for the Adult Blind and the SPCA. He was an active member of the Rotary Club of Bulawayo and received a Paul Harris award in recognition of his significant contribution.
Lazarus was born in Bulawayo on 19 December 1931. He was educated at Milton Junior and Senior Schools. He joined his father’s legal practice, Lazarus and Sarif, in 1952 and became the senior partner in 1971. He practised as a lawyer in Bulawayo for over 50 years.
His hobbies included golf, fishing, music, philately, bird watching and pottery. He was an honorary life member of the Bulawayo Golf Club, having joined at the age of 10 and was its honorary legal advisor.
He is sadly missed by his wife Sheila, his children Philip, Debbie and Sarah, his sons-in-law Kenneth and Thomas and his grandchildren Abigail, Rachel, Roxanne and Jasper.Post published in: Opinions & Analysis