The final Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996 came into operation on 4 February (see 1997 DR 73 and 191). The provisions of its Bill of Rights in some respects correspond with those contained in the Bill of Rights which formed part of the interim Constitution (Act 200 of 1993). However, in other respects the final Bill of Rights differs from the interim Bill of Rights. First of all, the order in which the fundamental rights are dealt with has changed. Second, the wording and content of many of the sections dealing with a comparable topic or right have changed - sometimes slightly and other times substantially. Furthermore, some rights appear in the final Bill of Rights but not in the interim one, and vice versa. This table is an attempt to facilitate comparison of the two Bills of Rights.
The following objection to clause 179 of the draft Constitution was forwarded to the Constitutional Court pursuant to the invitation to the public to submit objections on the basis that the draft does not comply with one or more of the constitutional principles contained in Schedule 4 of the interim Constitution: 'Clause 179 provides inter alia for a national Attorney-General, who will in effect be under the control of the executive. These provisions do not ensure ""equality of all before the law and an equitable legal process"", as is required by Principle V. The provisions of clause 179 as a whole, providing for a national prosecution policy and intervention by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, enables selective prosecutions in contravention of the spirit of Principle V and, possibly, that of Principle VI (separation of powers).
Section 13 of the interim Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 200 of 1993 provided as follows: 'Privacy. - Every person shall have the right to his or her personal privacy, which shall include the right not to be subject to searches of his or her person, home or property, the seizure of private possessions or the violation of private communications.'
Louis Kuyler's article 'Kan 'n insolvente erfgenaam 'n erfenis repudieer?' in 1996 DR 589 re-awakened in me thoughts about vesting which have nagged me for years. These thoughts circle round the fundamental meaning of the word 'vest', and in expressing them I know I am venturing into territory guarded by a long line of leading cases and fortified by the august authority of Voet himself.