#LeadSA: Sachs delivers powerful speech

The anti-apartheid activist spoke about losing his arm during the LeadSA Hero Awards.

Albie Sachs at the LeadSA Hero Awards. Picture: Carmel Loggenberg/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - They put a bomb in my car and I only lost my arm but I felt fantastic, anti-apartheid activist Albie Sachs told the LeadSA Hero Awards group on Friday.

Sachs and apartheid activist Mpho Tutu were among the speakers who addressed a group of humanitarians being honoured at the University of the Western Cape.

#LeadSA Reverend Mpho Tutu addresses the auditorium about her moment of clarity. CL pic.twitter.com/SmjBhNCDNW

Twenty-four people from around the province are being hailed as part of the initiative for their selfless work that ranged from helping the old and sickly, to teaching the poor.

The regional winners among the group of finalists were announced and praised for their outstanding work.

Sachs inspired the crowd with his heartfelt speech centred on the apartheid struggle and the perception of heroism.

He told the attentive crowd that true retribution is not an eye for an eye.

"One day I am given a letter and opened it with my one finger. The letter read 'don't worry comrade Albie, we will avenge you,' signed comrade Bobbie. And I am thinking avenge me?

"We going to cut off their arms, we are going to blind them - the people who did this. Is that what we fighting for? Is that the country we want?"

He said in those moments of clarity, he realised that true freedom was not vengeful or cruel.

"Soft vengeance is much more powerful and much more liberating than hard vengeance. Hard vengeance is doing to them what they have done to you. Soft vengeance is the triumph of your ideals."

Buyiswa Ponti, a community worker who opens up her shack to teach poor children, was also hailed for her efforts.

The humanitarian has been helping poor children by teaching them to read and write at in her shack in Simons Town since 2010.

She says by helping them, it fulfils her dream of being a teacher.

"I am very excited because when I was at school, I didn't get that opportunity. I want to give the children what I didn't get."