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Jules Browde, South African Lawyer Who Defended Nelson Mandela, Dies at 98

Jules Browde, a South African lawyer and human rights activist who helped defend Nelson Mandela, died May 31 at 98.

During a 50-year legal career, Browde worked with both Mandela and fellow African National Congress freedom fighter Oliver Tambo.

He led Lawyers for Human Rights, a prominent group that fought the apartheid regime for decades. His Jewish communal involvement included 25 years of service as national president of the Habonim youth movement.

“The South African Jewish community lost one of its most loved and respected members,” the South African Jewish Board of Deputies said in a statement.

Browde met Mandela when both were young law students at the University of the Witwatersrand. Their friendship was interrupted by Mandela’s 27 years of imprisonment at the hands of the apartheid regime.

After Mandela became South Africa’s first democratic president, he appointed Browde to an anti-corruption panel.

In July 2008, Browde received the Sydney and Felicia Kentridge Award for Service to Law in Southern Africa. Both he and his wife Selma Browde, a top cancer doctor, received the Helen Suzman Lifetime Achievement Award by the SA Jewish Report in 2011.

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