was drafted in terms of Chapter 5 of the interim Constitution (Act
200 of 1993) and was first adopted by the Constitutional
Assembly on 8 May 1996. In terms of a judgement of the Constitutional
Court, delivered on 6 September 1996, the text was referred back to
the Constitutional Assembly for reconsideration. The text was accordingly
amended to comply with the Constitutional Principles contained in Schedule
4 of the interim
Constitution. It was signed into law on 10 December 1996.
The objective in this
process was to ensure that the final Constitution is legitimate, credible
and accepted by all South Africans.
To this extent, the
process of drafting the Constitution involved many South Africans in the
largest public participation programme ever carried out in South Africa.
After nearly two years of intensive consultations, political parties represented
in the Constitutional Assembly negotiated the formulations contained in
this text, which are an integration of ideas from ordinary citizens, civil
society and political parties represented in and outside of the Constitutional
therefore represents the collective wisdom of the South African people
and has been arrived at by general agreement.
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