Codesa Agreement 1994

At the end of November 1991, after repeated postponements, a multi-party preparatory meeting was held, with the participation of most political parties and governments in the country of origin, to plan codesA`s structure and working methods. It is important for delegates to approve the “sufficient consensus” procedure: the Convention should seek consensus, but if this proved impossible, the President would decide whether there was sufficient agreement to continue the negotiations. Since an electorate did not mandate the parties and the process was designed to ensure that parties were included where possible, regardless of their base of support, it was agreed that no decision would be taken on an issue if, at least, the government and the ANC disagreed. However, an agreement was deemed insufficient only between the ANC and the government to make a decision. Although the IFP, in particular, felt aggrieved by this principle and others challenged its appropriate application in various respects during the negotiations, this method prompted the moderate parties to commit to reaching an agreement that should not be held hostage by the extremes. The ANC and the NP also disagreed with Codesa on the length of a transitional administration and on the format of the constitutional process. Although the NP is now in favour of a transitional administration that makes the ANC co-responsible in the administration of the country, it also wanted the NP to remain in place for a few years, while Codesa has developed a constitution guaranteeing power-sharing, protection of minorities and respect for the free business system. On the other hand, if the final Constitution were to be drafted by a constituent assembly, it wished that the body be subject to firm principles guaranteeing the inclusion of the above guarantees. [lxxiii] Growing nervousness among NP members forced De Klerk to take advantage of the opening of Parliament on 2 February 1992 to assure his colleagues that the NP was still in power. He added that no formal agreement had been reached to change the governance of the country. This did little to hold back his critics, who accused him of acting without a warrant. He replied that he was ready to prove that he had the confidence and support of his supporters, and especially Africans, through a white referendum.

[xcix] The CODEA Negotiations, South African History Online, accessed 02.02.2017 www.sahistory.org.za/article/codesa-negotiations. Ebrahims (2008) the fourth notable feature was the Memorandum of Understanding mentioned above. [xcvi] He notes that the statement was and remains “an extremely important and historical document.” This is the first political agreement that was concluded democratically, and it made a break with the racist past. In addition, it imposed on all parties the fundamental principles of a non-racial multi-party democracy, “in which the Constitution is guaranteed by supreme and regular elections.” In the South African context, the declaration was revolutionary and, in a sense, the “preamble” of the first democratic constitution. 6.1 The subcommittee should therefore advise the conciliation committee on the most effective way to use these agreements as a constructive basis and ensure that the views of participants who did not participate in codesA are taken into account in order to advance the Allister Sparks process, since the newly banned liberation movements would have adapted to political activity in a changing environment and ended “a series of preliminary agreements with the government”; De Klerk has refined his strategy for a division of power constitution rather than a majority government.

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