The Quest to Consign Apartheid to the Dustbin of History: Procedural Human Rights in Criminal Justice in the Final Constitution of South Africa
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History will record that the first democratic Constitution of South Africa came into force on the 27th day of April 1994. Officially titled the Constitution of South Africa, Act 200 of 1993, it generally became known alternately as the interim or transitional Constitution. It gave way to a "final" Constitution, which was drafted by a Constitutional Assembly elected in terms of the interim Constitution. President Mandela signed the final Constitution at Sharpeville, near Johannesburg, on 10 December 1996. That date, the anniversary of the United Nations Human Rights Day, marked yet another milestone in the constitutional transformation of South Africa. The advent of the interim Constitution in 1994 offered an opportunity for South Africans to review and reform the legal order bequeathed on the country by the inhuman system of apartheid. That legal order found prominent expression in the system of criminal justice. It was inevitable that the new Constitutional order would seek to make significant changes to the criminal justice system. The instrument by which this was attempted is the Bill of Rights, first introduced as Chapter 3 of the interim Constitution, and perpetuated, as Chapter 2, by the final Constitution.