Albert Sachs to deliver Nelson Mandela Lecture on Nov. 7

September 26, 2017

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Albert Sachs, a retired judge in the Constitutional Court of South Africa and a freedom fighter against apartheid, will deliver the Penn State Africana Research Center’s annual Nelson Mandela Lecture at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7, in Foster Auditorium of Paterno Library. Sachs’ talk is titled "The Triumph of Humanity and Social Justice."

Sachs speaks around the world sharing the South African experience of healing a divided society. He talks of his earliest experience, being born to a Jewish family who fled Lithuania and the tsar’s discrimination. He tells the story of his career as a human rights activist and his participation in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign and the Congress of the People at Kliptown, which paved the way for his eventual career in the law and his appointment in 1994 to the Constitutional Court of South Africa by Nelson Mandela.

He talks about his role in the establishment of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the development of “soft vengeance,” focusing on the power of restorative rather than punitive justice.

Sachs’ lecture is free and open to the public. For more information about the Nelson Mandela Lecture Series, visit

Last Updated September 26, 2017