Struggle Stalwart Justice Albie Sachs at the Plett ARTS Fest

18 June 2018

Struggle Stalwart Justice Albie Sachs at the Plett ARTS Fest

Born to communist and trade unionist parents in Johannesburg in 1935, his career in human rights activism can be traced back to 1952, when as a 17 year old second year law student at UCT, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Three years later he would attend the Congress of the people in Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted.

As a member of the ANC, Justice Albie helped draft the ANC’s code of conduct and statutes, also as a member of the constitutional committee, he participated in the making of the South African constitution in 1996.

Appointed by Nelson Mandela to serve as the constitutional court judge, a role he stayed in from 1994 until he retired in 2009. In the 15 years he spent in the bench, Justice Albie Sachs took part in key landmark ruling in the post-apartheid South Africa, such rulings includes amongst others; declaring capital punishment a violation to the right of life, making it unconstitutional to prevent members of the LGBTI+ community from marrying, and also backed HIV & AIDS campaigners in 2002, by insisting that the government had a duty to provide people living with HIV with drugs.

I am very much pleased to say, this struggle stalwart and constitutional law giant, will be coming to the Plett ARTS Festival to introduce “Oliver Tambo: Have you heard from Johannesburg”, a documentary paying homage to Oliver Tambo. Sachs is the executive producer of the film, directed by Connie Field. It features significant years of Tambo agitating against the apartheid government in the international arena, it also has interviews of those who spent time in exile, including Chris Hani.

I suspect that Sachs loves and respects OR Tambo because of his mannerism, his collegiality and his dream of a democratic South Africa where every individual’s right is respected.

This film is important for many reasons, but for me and my peers- the younger generation, or “born frees” as it were, we live in times where we are exclusively taught the history of one man - Nelson Mandela. The legacy of OR Tambo therefore remains faded in our political consciousness, this film, one hopes, will help restore OR’s legacy in the memory of today’s generation.

Catch Justice Albie Sachs on the screening of his film at the Plett ARTS Festival during Afridocs Plett:

Date: 05 July

Time: 19:30

Venue: Piesang Valley Hall

Ticket price: R120

Cash bar and food trucks available.

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