|The interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa was the supreme legal document in the country between 1994 and 1997, and oversaw the transition from white-minority rule, and the previous policy of apartheid, to democratic government. It was drawn up by a coalition of Africa National Congress (ANC) leaders, the then National Party government and others, following years of opposition to racially discriminatory laws and practices of the South African Government. |
|The interim Constitution prescribed a democratically elected Government of National Unity, 'for the promotion of national unity and the restructuring and continued governance of South Africa while an elected Constitutional Assembly draws up a final Constitution' made up of all parties who obtained a certain percentage of the vote in the National Assembly (Preamble). |
The interim Constitution was replaced by the Republic of South Africa's current Constitution, which received assent in December 1996, and came into force in February 1997.
The interim Constitution:
stipulated rights, including that of equality, life, human dignity, freedom and security of person, as well as freedom of religion, belief, assembly, movement, residence and expression;
prescribed matters relating to restitution of land rights for land dispossessed as a result of racial discrimination;
established various public bodies, including a Human Rights Commission and a Commission on Gender Equality;
stated the requirements for franchise, including that all South African citizens over the age of 18 are entitled to vote in elections;
set out the 'constitutional principles' that the final Constitution must adhere to; and
prescribed the official languages of South Africa as Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, Sesotho sa Leboa, Sesotho, siSwati, Xitsonga, Setswana, Tshivenda, isiXhosa and isiZulu.