n Journal of African Union Studies - Translating South Africa's AU commitments from words into action

Volume 3, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 2050-4292
  • E-ISSN: 2050-4306


It has been twenty years since South Africa joined the international community of democratic states. In 1994, after a bitter struggle dislodging the Apartheid government, the country held its first democratic elections. As diplomatic exclusions were lifted, the new South Africa joined and took leading roles in multilateral institutions such as the United Nations, the Organisation of African Unity (now the African Union), and at the sub-regional level in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC). South Africa soon adopted a constitutional order, embodying the human rights aspirations of these institutions, which is celebrated today as one of the most comprehensive and progressive in the world.

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