If a paternity test were done on widely admired South Africa’s
constitution, whose DNA would come up? Is the Constitution just a
beautiful piece of paper? If Oliver Tambo were alive today, walking
around South Africa, would he be pleased with what he saw? In this
riveting, direct account of the genesis of South Africa’s
constitution, former Justice Albie Sachs answers these crucial
questions. The chapters of this book are based on a four-part
lecture series delivered by Albie Sachs at universities around the
country during the centenary year of Oliver Tambo’s birth. The
lectures were delivered as part of the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo
Foundation’s centenary celebrations which sought to honour and
remember Tambo’s life, the values he espoused and his commitment to
the struggle for national liberation. Described by former President
Nelson Mandela as ‘a great giant who strode the globe like a
colossus’, Tambo was one of the key drivers of South Africa’s
liberation and the founding father of our constitutional democracy.
Sachs writes about the years he spent working under Tambo’s
leadership in exile preparing for a new post-apartheid
constitutional order in South Africa and about the extreme crises
that were overcome during the constitution-making process to arrive
at the document we have today. Tackling the burning issues that
face our country today, he argues that the Constitution is a
framework for struggle and decolonisation that can be used to bring
about land reform and true equality.
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