4 December 1996
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa is regarded as one of the most progressive constitutions in the world. The process that led to its approval was not an easy one. It began in 1990 with the unbanning of political parties and the release of political prisoners. The Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) I and II were held between 21 December 1991 and May 1992 and attended by 19 political parties. After the collapse of CODESA II a Multi-Party Negotiation Process began to pursue the issues that CODESA failed to resolve. An interim constitution on how the country would be governed had to be written and adopted by those present. Thirty-four constitutional principles were included and were to serve as a guide to the Constitutional Assembly (CA), which was responsible for drawing up the final constitution. The writing process began in 1994, after the first democratic election.Two years later, the CA adopted the final constitution, though it still had to be ratified by the Constitutional Court, which held its first hearing in July 1996. The constitution was rejected during this hearing as the judges of the court stated that it did not comply with the thirty-four principles that were decided on. Once it was revised, the final draft was accepted and approved by the Constitutional Court on 4 December 1996. South Africa is governed according to this constitution and it is the highest law in the Republic of South Africa.

Info.gov.za. ‘Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996’ from South African Government Information [online]. Available at www.gov.za [Accessed 2 December 2016]|

Knowles, C. (2011). ‘South Africa: The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa’from University of Michigan [online] Available at: www.sitemaker.umich.edu [Accessed: 01 November 2011]