Toronto, Canada, 19 May 2016 - Justice Albie Sachs, a senior member of the African National Congress and a key architect of Mandela’s post-apartheid Constitution, delivered the fifth Annual Pluralism Lecture in Toronto at the Aga Khan Museum.
Long-time human rights activist, lawyer, judge and author, Justice Albie Sachs has committed his career to the values of justice, inclusion and peace. A freedom fighter for Black South Africans, and key architect of South Africa’s post-apartheid constitution, Justice Sachs survived an assassination attempt that caused him to lose an arm and his vision in one eye. After recovering, Sachs returned to help Nelson Mandela transition South Africa from apartheid to democracy, by helping draft a constitution with minority rights built in. Two decades later, this Constitution is still admired around the world.
Introducing Justice Sachs, His Highness the Aga Khan noted: "All of us who try to understand the challenges of pluralism in our modern world also understand that viable constitutions are the sound foundations on which healthy Pluralism must rest. They are the vehicle through which the nations can reconcile the quest for national identity with the protection and the bridging of differences. In the pursuit of an effective pluralism - we can learn a great deal from studying the South African constitution - and how it works - and how it was created."
Delivering a speech entitled, "The Battle for the South African Constitution," Sachs, who was at the heart of the process, explained how the conflict was resolved and South Africa ended up having one of the most admired constitutions in the world. A dialogue followed the lecture, moderated by Doug Saunders, International Affairs Columnist with the Globe and Mail, with audience questions submitted by a global audience watching the live webcast of the event online.