Today, 21 years ago, First draft of SA Constitution was published

The South African Constitution. Photo:

In January 1995 an advertising campaign was launched to prompt public views on what should be in the Constitution. The first consolidated draft of the new South African Constitution was ready in September, but the first refined working draft was only published on 22 November 1995.

The 63-page document was the culmination of 18 months of work by the Constitutional Assembly with African National Congress (ANC) secretary-General, Cyril Ramaphosa, as the chairperson.

Ramaphosa, called for constructive public comment on the draft constitution so that another round of negotiations could start to deal with the unresolved issues and changes.

State President at the time, Nelson Mandela, signed the Constitution into law in Sharpeville, in Vereeniging, on 10 December 1996 and it came into effect on 4 February 1997.

The week of 17 to 21 March was named national Constitution Week and over seven million copies of the Constitution were distributed in all 11 languages.

Source: South African History Online

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