Johannesburg, July 25 (CNA) Taiwan's National Central University has decided to name a Asteroid after Albie Sachs of South Africa, the winner of the first Tang Prize in Rule of Law.
On behalf of the university, Tang Prize Foundation CEO Chern Jenn-chuan (陳振川) delivered the certificate to Sachs on July 22.
In light of Sachs' contribution to promoting democratic values, pluralism, social justice and human rights protection, the university said, it decided to name a Asteroid it discovered in 2006 "175419 Albiesachs."
Sachs, a lawyer and human rights activist who has spent much of his life fighting apartheid, helped write the new Constitution of South Africa and was appointed by late South African president Nelson Mandela in 1994 to serve as a justice of the Constitutional Court --a position he held until 2009.
The Tang Prize was awarded to Sachs in 2014 "for his many contributions to human rights and justice globally through an understanding of the rule of law in which the dignity of all persons is respected and the strengths and values of all communities are embraced, in particular through his efforts in the realization of the rule of law in a free and democratic South Africa," according to the citation.
Born to politically active parents of a Jewish family in 1935, Sachs joined the anti-apartheid movement at the age of 17. After gaining a law degree at 21, he defended people charged under repressive apartheid laws and, as a result, was imprisoned and tortured several times.
In 1988, South African security agents planted a bomb in his car that blew off his right arm and blinded him in one eye.
Despite these ordeals, Sachs said he never felt rage or that fate had been unfair and unkind to him because he knew he was part of a movement and it was part of the risk he and other freedom fighters had to take to change the unjust apartheid system.
The biennial Tang Prize was established in 2012 by Taiwanese entrepreneur Samuel Yin (尹衍樑) to honor top researchers and leaders in four fields -- sustainable development, biopharmaceutical science, sinology and rule of law. The first award ceremony was held in Taipei in September last year.
(By Hsu Mei-yu and Elaine Hou)