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The late CP leader who was demoted for liking blacks

Lazarus, a prominent human rights advocate died in March but there were no efforts to honour his legacy politically.

But the memoirs he wrote four years before his death chronicle how he got involved in politics and his struggles at a time when the white population was overwhelmingly against granting blacks independence.

At its inception, CP was led by a Karoi farmer Pat Bashford, who was deputised by Lazarus.

“From the start to the finish we lacked two essential ingredients: money and white support,” Lazarus wrote in the memoirs made available to The Standard this week.

“Ironically, I suppose I was politically at fault in drumming up massive black support.

“This was a great embarrassment to those whites who intended to stand in the next general election.

“They protested to me that I was responsible for scaring off potential white supporters and I was removed as vice-president and relegated to a ‘think tank’. This consisted of about three or four others, mainly academics.”

He led a team of lawyers, including Herbert Chitepo and the former Chief Justice Tony Gubbay in defending many ANC detainees prior to independence.
He also defended Joseph Msika, Joshua Nkomo, Enos Nkala and Akim Ndlovu, among many others.

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