Why I Was Not Despised and Rejected

Justice Albie Sachs on his life as an exile in Britain

This event launched CARA’s 75th Anniversary year, bringing together members of the  CARA Scholars at Risk UK Universities Network, and influential others concerned for academic and university freedoms and for the welfare of refugee and threatened academics.

Born into the privileged white community, Albie Sachs worked as an attorney defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws under South African Apartheid. After being seized by the police and placed in solitary confinement for his work in the freedom movement, Albie Sachs went into exile in England and then Mozambique. In Maputo, Mozambique, he lost an arm and the sight of one eye when a bomb was placed in his car by South African security agents. After the bombing, he devoted himself to the preparations for a new democratic constitution for South Africa. He returned to South Africa in 1990 and served as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of The African National Congress (ANC).

During his exile in Britain, 1966-77, he held the position of Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in Law at the University of Southampton. During this period he received a grant from CARA (then known as the SPSL - The Society for the Protection of Science & Learning) and another in 1989, when he left Columbia University and returned to the UK to rebuild his life and take up a position at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies, University of London. Albie Sachs is now a Justice in the Constitutional Court of South Africa.

To download a lecture transcript Click here.