Former Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs will present Free Spirits and Ravaged Souls: Tension at the heart of freedom of expression on 7 April.

The lecture is on at 17:30 in Hiddingh Hall as part of the Gordon Institute for Performing and Creative Arts (GIPCA) Great Texts / Big Questions lecture series.

The lecture follows on from the keynote address that he delivered this year on opening night of the Time of the Writer festival in Durban. In the address he discussed the moral tensions that exist in the area of freedom of expression, also referring specifically to Zapiro’s controversial cartoons.

“Free speech comes at a price, and it’s a heavy price,” said Sachs. “The answer to the unfair critiques and opportunistic attacks is not through suppression. It is to come out with better speech. Stronger speech. To find the new revolutionaries, if you like,” he added.

Jay Pather, director of GIPCA said: “It is an honour to host an icon of Sachs’ calibre. The choice of text and topic raises powerful questions for our time. We are looking forward to an inspired talk and stimulating discussion.”

Former Constitutional Court Justice Albie Sachs was an advocate arguing human rights cases when he was forced into exile in 1966 after prolonged detentions and bannings. After spending 11 years studying and teaching law in England he worked for a further 11 years in Mozambique as law professor and legal researcher. In 1988 he lost an arm and the sight of an eye in a car bomb attack in Maputo by South African security agents. Sachs returned to South Africa in 1990 and participated in negotiations leading to democracy. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Constitution of South Africa and served as judge on the Constitutional Court of South Africa from 1994 to 2009, following his appointment by former President of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. In 2010 he was the recipient of the Alan Paton Prize and Reconciliation Award from the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation. Albie Sachs is a prolific author of 11 acclaimed books such as Soft Vengeance of a Freedom Fighter, Justice in South Africa and The Strange Alchemy of Life and Law.

This event will take place at Hiddingh Hall, University of Cape Town (UCT) Hiddingh Campus, Orange Street, Cape Town on Thursday 7 April at 17:30 and is free. Refreshments will be served from 17:00. No booking is necessary. For more information on the series, please contact 021 480 7156 or

Albie Sachs audio recording available for download.

Start: 7 Apr ’11 5:30 pm

End: 7 Apr ’11 6:30 pm

Cost: Free


Organizer: GIPCA


Venue: Hiddingh Hall 

Phone: +27 21 480 7156 

Address: Google Map UCT Hiddingh Campus, 31-37 Orange Street, Cape Town, 8001, Cape Town, Western Cape, 8001, South Africa