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Republic of South Africa
Republiek van Suid-Afrika

Note: On November 22, 2011, the National Assembly ratified the controversial Protection of Information Bill (see below under “Current Issues”). As of early 2012, the bill had not yet been cleared by the National Council of Provinces. The measure was seen on many sides as a serious turn away from post-apartheid South Africa's tradition of openness and the toleration of free speech. If it became law, a widely supported appeal to the Constitutional Court was expected.

Political Status: Fully independent state since 1934; republic established May 31, 1961; Interim Constitution ratified on December 22, 1993, with effect from April 27, 1994, for a five-year term; new text signed into law on December 10, 1996, effective February 4, 1997, with certain provisions ...

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