oa De Rebus - A constitutional debacle: Amnesty to perpetrators and denial of victims' right of access to court

Volume 1997, Issue 359
  • ISSN : 0250-0329



In the case of Azapo and Others v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others 1996 (4) (1) SA 671 (CC) (the Azapo case) (see 1996 DR 647 and 816, and 1997 DR 493), applicants sought to attack the constitutionality of s 20 of the Promotion of National Unity and Reconciliation Act 34 of 1995* (the Act) on the grounds that its consequences were not authorised by the interim Constitution. The gist of their argument was as follows: the granting of amnesty in respect of gross violations of human rights as provided for in s 20 of the Act effectively denies applicants and victims or, if deceased, their dependants the right of access to court, guaranteed in s 22 of the interim Constitution, to bring civil claims against perpetrators of gross violations of human rights.

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