Albie Sachs, a former justice of the constitutional court of South Africa and winner of the first Tang Prize in Rule of Law, is known for his life-long battle for human rights against the apartheid regime in South Africa, and was one of the chief architects in the drafting of the constitution of post-apartheid South Africa. In an interview with ‘Taipei Times’ staff reporter Lii Wen on Friday in Taipei, Sachs, in light of Taiwan’s ongoing debate on constitutional reforms, emphasized the importance of public participation in constitution-making
Date: May 04, 2015
Taipei Times: During a previous visit, you mentioned Taiwan was once notorious
for its ties with the apartheid regime in South Africa. Tell us more about your views of Taiwan, especially in terms of human rights.
Albie Sachs: During the struggle days, apartheid South Africa was very isolated in the world. When they had a naval review of their ships in Simon’s Town, they would call for the fleets of the world to join them. And only two fleets joined them, from Taiwan and from Chile under [former Chilean president Augusto] Pinochet [1973 to 1990]. We didn’t have high regard for Taiwan at that stage, going out of its way to breach the international arms boycott of South Africa, sending its ships to South Africa.