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Perseverance Quote of the Day


Albie Sachs

Constitutional Court of South Africa

A day or so later -- somebody was smuggling in messages to me, in a thermos flask, in fact -- and there's a message to the effect that somebody else had been locked up, an architect, and had been through similar experiences, and his wife saw him and, and he was like a ghost. And he'd whispered to her what had happened to him, and she'd gone to court with that information and got an order restricting the security police from continuing the interrogation. And I wrote the second most important legal document I've written in my life, and I include working on the Constitution of South Africa. And a tiny piece of paper in the note that was smuggled out, saying what I've just explained to the camera now, in just a few words, that it could be used in evidence in his case. But the fact is, they didn't come back for me, so it did save me from further interrogation. And I'm sure the intention was to pile it on, pile it on, pile it on, break me down completely. So though I ended up not giving away any information of any value, I still feel something inside me was broken, some strand of dignity and self-possession, and I've never got over it, never got over it. There's some humiliations and pains you carry with you. You get on with your life, you manage, you do things, but you can't say, "It doesn't matter. It doesn't count." It counted. It was worse than being blown up, much worse then being blown up. The attack on my mind, my spirit, my dignity, much worse then the attack on my body which came many years later.
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