WE, THE PEOPLE, insights of an activist judge

: Sachs (A.)

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349pp., paperback, Johannesburg, 2016


A collection of essays, lectures and extracts on constitution-making and non-racialism by former judge Albie Sachs.

"Albie Sachs's book comes at a time when critical reflection and insightful analyses of South Africa's past, and its current challenges are most needed. The reflections in 'We, the People' are indicative not only of one man's commitment to democratic ideals, but also, symbolically, that of South Africa's people." Ahmed Kathrada, former political prisoner and politician

"Albie Sachs is at once activist and philosopher judge. In 'We, the People', Sachs lets us into his prying thoughts about the foundations and the construction of our constitutional project. He ponders the complex relationship between the people, their chosen government and the idealised outcomes the advent of democracy has promised." Dikgang Moseneke, former Deputy Chief Justice

Albert "Albie" Louis Sachs (b. 1935) is a former judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa. He practiced as an advocate at the Cape Bar, defending people charged under racial statutes and security laws. After being arrested and placed in solitary confinement for over five months, Albie Sachs went into exile in England, and later Mozambique. In 1988, in Maputo, he lost an arm and his sight in one eye when a bomb placed in his car exploded. He returned to South Africa in 1990, served as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the African National Congress, and was appointed to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by Nelson Mandela in 1994. He retired in 2009. In 1991, Sachs won the Alan Paton Award for his book, "Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter". He is also the author of "Justice in South Africa" (1974), "The Jail Diary of Albie Sachs" (1966), "Sexism and the Law" (1979), and "The Free Diary of Albie Sachs" (2004). His most recent book, The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law" (2009), also won the Alan Paton Award.