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Shalala and Skjelten Collection - Public Participation

  • ZA CHT SSPP
  • Fonds
  • 1988 - 2014

This collection was created and structured by Edward Shalala with an eye towards it being a critical resource for future research and a tangible record of South Africa's constitutional heritage. 

The collection provides insights into structures, processes and work subordinate to and in co-ordination with Edward Shalala within the Constitutional Assembly. Key critical decision documents and reports of the Community Liaison Department (CLD) and Public Participation Programme (PPP) can be found here. 

The collection is composed of materials gathered by Edward Shalala during his time as the head of the Constitutional Assembly CLD from September 1994 to May 1996. The CLD was one of three major arms of the PPP, the other two being the Media Department, and invitations for submissions from the public.

The collection was supplemented and used by Synnøve Skjelten in writing her book: A People's Constitution: Public Participation in the South African Constitution-making Process.

The series Synnøve Skjelten Research contains Synnøve Skjelten’s thesis and research material. Some primary source research material from the Constitutional Assembly (1994 to 1996) is stored alongside Skjelten's thesis (1999-2006).  

The series Constitutional Assembly contains some general documents from the Constitutional Assembly with the majority dealing with CLD and PPP. The series is composed of reports, documents, newsletter and promotional ephemera such as t-shirts and stickers.

The series Miscellaneous contains material in three groups covering the 1994 election process, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, and a portable exhibition on the life of Nelson Mandela. 

Shalala, Edward

Archive of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA)

  • ZA CHT COD
  • Fonds
  • 1991 - 1992

CODESA formed part of a multi-party negotiating process to end apartheid in South Africa and establish a transitional government and constitution. During the Preparatory Meeting between 29 and 30 November 1991, it was decided that the process would be convened under the title Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA).

During 1991 and 1992 CODESA convened two plenary sessions, CODESA 1 and CODESA 2.  Agreements which had been negotiated during task and working group discussions were then debated and ratified by the plenaries as the broader representative body.

Negotiations reached a deadlock during CODESA 2 and were suspended. Materials produced after CODESA 2 are referred to as Post-CODESA 2.

During the Preparatory Meeting, three task groups were created to facilitate planning and formulate an agenda and aims. During the first plenary session of CODESA 1, five working groups were established, each with their own terms of reference and specific tasks related to the agenda and aims of CODESA. 

Between plenary sessions, the working groups met and negotiated frequently. During the second plenary session, working groups delivered their reports on their recommendations and agreements. 

A lack of consensus during CODESA 2,  centred on two major issues - interim government and constitutional principles - this resulted in a deadlock and formal meetings and negotiations were suspended by the end of June 1992. 

The series CODESA 1 contains all meetings preparatory to CODESA 1 ( 20 to 21 December 1991) and the associated plenary documents.

The series CODESA 2 contains all meetings post CODESA 1 and preparatory to CODESA 2 (15 to 16 May 1992) and the associated plenary documents.

The series Post CODESA 2 contains all materials created between 17 May 1992 and June 1992.

The series Annexure A: Various CODESA Records contains transcripts of plenary proceedings, terms of reference for working groups, and ephemera from CODESA plenaries.

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Archive of the Constitutional Assembly

  • ZA CHT CA
  • Fonds
  • 1994 - 1996

The Constitutional Assembly was the government entity created for the purpose of writing the fifth Constitution for the Republic of South Africa. The Constitutional Assembly formed on 9 May 1994. The Constitution was signed into law on 10 December 1996 and came into effect on 4 February 1997.

The Constitutional Assembly was composed of democratically elected representatives from South Africa’s first non-racial election on 27 April 1994. The formation and limitations of the Constitutional Assembly were provisioned in Act 200 of 1993: Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, commonly referred to as the Interim Constitution. In terms of Section 68(1) a joint sitting of the National Assembly and Senate formed the Constitutional Assembly. The election produced 400 leaders in the National Assembly and 90 in the Senate.

The Interim Constitution was written by the Multi-Party Negotiation Process (MPNP) during the negotiations to end apartheid and was formally enacted by the apartheid-era Tricameral Parliament on 27 April 1994. All the parties in the MPNP agreed on the 34 Constitutional Principles for the Interim Constitution. The final constitution was required to encapsulate the Constitutional Principles to be certified by the Constitutional Court and passed into law.

By October 1995 the first consolidated and refined working draft was published, however a number of issues remained unresolved. During April, the Arniston Multilateral was held to resolve outstanding differences. While many issues were resolved, on 23 April 1996 the draft tabled before the Constitutional Assembly retained some key outstanding areas. Nonetheless the draft was accepted on 8 May 1996 and sent to the Constitutional Court for certification.

The Constitutional Court certification process (1 July to 6 September 1996) found that the text did not comply with the Constitutional Principles and consequently the Court did not certify the constitution. The Court delivered a judgement identifying areas requiring attention.The text was amended and by October 1996 it was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly. It was sent again to the Constitutional Court on 18 October. The Constitutional Court certified the final Constitution on 4 December 1996.

The fonds Archive of the Constitutional Assembly contains paper records, audio recordings and ephemera from the Constitutional Assembly and its various bodies from May 1994 to December 1996. It comprises eight series.

The series Constitutional Assembly, contains records of work programmes, debates and decision making of the Constitutional Assembly. The Constitutional Assembly was the final deciding body of the contents of the new constitutional text.

The series Constitutional Committee, contains documents produced by the Constitutional Committee, and reports from committees and sub-committees. The Constitutional Committee functioned as the primary negotiating body of the Constitutional Assembly and prepared draft constitutions.

The series Constitutional Committee Sub-committee contains material produced by the Constitutional Committee Sub-committee and documents from sub-committees reporting to it. The Constitutional Committee Sub-committee was created by the Constitutional Committee to deal with substantive issues that the Constitutional Committee was unable to process because of time constraints. Its tasks included drafting, negotiating and the formation of further sub-committees.

Sub-committees contains working documents and meeting recordings of all sub-committees and ad hoc committees created by the Constitutional Committee Sub-committee.

Theme Committees contains submissions made to theme committees, the documents of core groups and reports from technical teams assigned to each theme committee. Theme committee members were drawn from the Constitutional Assembly and were responsible for the integration of ideas from political parties, civil society and the general public into the constitution-making process.

Management Committee contains the working documents of the Management Committee. The Management Committee reported to the Constitutional Committee and attended to issues of process such as procedure for drafting and task implementation.

Steering Committee contains audio recordings of Steering Committee meetings. This committee was created by and reported to the Constitutional Assembly. It was primarily concerned with budgeting, planning and the creation of rules between May and August 1994.

The final series, Media, contains ephemera produced for public outreach such as posters, and Constitutional Talk Radio. Materials produced by advertising agencies as pitches for selection and their subsequent programming can also be found here.

Constitutional Assembly

Archive of the Multi-Party Negotiating Process

  • ZA CHT MPNP
  • Fonds
  • 1993

The Multi-Party Negotiating Process (MPNP) was held during 1993 at the World Trade Centre, Johannesburg. The MPNP was a negotiation process between South African political organisations to establish a transitional government for the creation of non-racial, non-sexist South African constitution. The MPNP wrote Act 200 of 1993: Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, commonly referred to as the Interim Constitution. The Interim Constitution served as a bridging constitution for South Africa, creating a temporal and conceptual space for a constitution to be written by elected representatives of all South African people in the Constitutional Assembly.  

The MPNP was a continuation of the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA). CODESA, meetings between 1991 and 1992 which attempted to establish a transitional government and constitution to end apartheid. By June 1992 CODESA came to a deadlock and negotiations halted. A general consensus grew on the need to resume multi-party talks in 1993 especially motivated by acts of violence, intimidation, and economic hardship.

Talks recommenced with the Multi-party Planning Conference on 5 and 6 March 1993. The Planning Conference focused on  re-commitment by all parties, and intended to create the mechanism necessary for the drafting and adoption of a new constitution for South Africa by democratically elected representatives. The first meeting of all delegates to the new negotiation process was the Multi-Party Negotiating Forum on 1 and 2 April 1993.

In the lead up to the Negotiating Forum meeting, the Facilitating Committee and the Sub-committee of the Facilitating Committee were formed to plan the negotiating process. These committees were renamed the Negotiating Council and the Planning Committee and became core negotiating and formulating bodies of the MPNP.

The Negotiating Council named the negotiation process and plenary the Multi-Party Negotiating Process on 3 May 1993. It later established the Transitional Executive Council (TEC) to implement the Interim Constitution in 1994 and was ultimately responsible for the negotiating, drafting, and finalising the Interim Constitution as endorsed by the MPNP Plenary.

The Negotiating Council formed seven technical committees to assist in the drafting for specific themes and areas of concern. Commissions were established for areas requiring public consultation or further negotiations under the direction of the Negotiating Council. The Negotiating Council and Planning Committee reported to the Negotiating Forum.

The Negotiating Forum became the highest body under the direction of the MPNP Plenary. The Multi-Party Negotiation Process Plenary, was a widely representative body of South African leaders and political parties who confirmed and amended agreements reached by all other negotiating bodies of the MPNP.The Negotiating Forum instructed and supervised the negotiating process occurring within the Negotiating Council. The resulting drafts for the Interim Constitution were presented to MPNP Plenary for endorsement or amendment. 

The Archive of the Multi-Party Negotiation Process has 13 series. 

The series Planning Conference contains the materials produced for  the meeting of the Multi-Party Planning Conference on 5 and 6 March 1993 and the resulting documents from that meeting. Additionally summaries of agreements from the proceedings of CODESA can be found here. 

The series Applications contains correspondence from parties and organisations agreeing to participate, and requesting representation in the MPNP. 

The series Technical Committees contain the working documents of all seven technical committees and their general management materials.

The series Planning Committee contains the working documents of the Planning Committee and its Sub-committee.

The series Negotiating Council contains the the minutes, delegation packs, reports and resolutions of Negotiating Council. Resolutions from the Planning Conference can also be found here.

The series Negotiating Forum contains the minutes, delegation packs, reports of the Negotiating Forum. Resolutions that define the operating procedure and decision making process of the MPNP can also be found here. 

Within the series Plenary can be found the final versions of bills drafted by all other bodies of the MPNP as well as resolutions and adoptions of those bills. The MPNP had one Plenary session on 17 November 1993.

The series Women Representatives contains material from the Meeting of the Women Representatives of Participating Parties in the Multi-Party Negotiation Forum on the 26 and 31 March 1993. These meetings framed the terms on which women were included in the MPNP.  

The series Communications Committee contains the minutes and drafts of the Communications Committee, planning documents for the attendance of media and draft codes of conduct for media attending meetings of the Multi-Party Negotiating Process and its bodies. 

The series Demarcation of State, Provinces and Regions contains a variety of materials and audio related to the multi-phase investigation conducted by the Commission of the Demarcation of State, Provinces and Regions.  

The series Commission on National Symbols contains a small digitised subset of public submissions made to the Commission on National Symbols, including the National Anthem and Coat of Arms.

The series Audio Recordings of the Negotiating Council Meetings contains the digitised audio from cassette recordings of Negotiating Council and the Facilitating Committee meetings. 

The series Miscellaneous Records primarily contains reference materials from the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) used during discussions by various structures of the MPNP and other uncategorized materials.

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development