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Maisels, Israel Aaron


MAISELS, ISRAEL AARON (1905–1994), South African lawyer and communal leader. Born and educated in Johannesburg, Maisels was admitted to the bar in 1930. During World War ii he served in the South African Air Force with the rank of major. In 1948 he became king's counsel and was leader of the Johannesburg, as well as the South African, Bar for several years. He successfully defended Nelson Mandela and 90 other people of all races in the "Treason Trial" which ended in 1961. He was appointed a judge of the High Court of Southern Rhodesia, retiring in 1963, and later acted as a part-time judge of appeal for Botswana, Lesotho, and Swaziland. He served as arbitrator in disputes of public concern. Maisels was at various times president of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies, the South African Zionist Federation, and the United Hebrew Congregation in Johannesburg.

[Louis Hotz]

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