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Court certifies new South African constitution

South African Constitution December 4, 1996
Web posted at: 1:30 p.m. EST (1830 GMT)

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (CNN) -- A new constitution guaranteeing equal rights in South Africa won approval Wednesday from the Constitutional Court after being rejected earlier in the year, mainly on technical grounds.

In its ruling, the Constitutional Court certified the revised document and sent it to President Nelson Mandela. He is expected to sign it on International Human Rights Day next Tuesday and order it implemented in January.

The constitution will adopt a bill of rights enforcing race, gender and social equality. Among its provisions are a prohibition on capital punishment, guaranteed trade union rights and a property clause that could empower the government to redress the skewed pattern of land ownership created by the former apartheid system of racial separation.

Reuters contributed to this report.


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