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Introducing the constitutional right to equality (Section 9 of the Constitution, 1996)

South Africa as a country has adopted a Constitution in 1996 which is the Supreme Law. This means that the constitution has the highest power in the country and no one is picabove the law. The Constitution obliges the South African Government to protect and promote the rights of every individual. It stipulates particularly under the bill of rights that:

  1. Everyone is equal before the law and has the rights to equal protection and benefit of the law.
  2. Equality includes the full and equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms. To promote the achievement of equality, legislative and other measures designed to protect or advance persons, or categories of persons, disadvantaged by unfair discrimination may be taken.
  3. The state may not unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds, including race, gender, sex, pregnancy, marital status, ethnic or social origin, colour, sexual orientation, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, language and birth.
  4. No person my unfairly discriminate directly or indirectly against anyone on one or more grounds in terms of subsection (3) National legislation must be enacted to prevent or prohibit unfair discrimination.

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