Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA)

CODESA 1 Timeline

21 August 1989: OUA publishes the publishes the Harare Declaration.

January 1991: Nelson Mandela calls for an all-party congress to negotiate the way to a constituent assembly.

April 1991: The ANC publishes its constitutional principles and structures

End of July 1991: President De Klerk confirms the need for transitional measures and adds that this will be on the agenda of a multi-party congress.

September 1991: The NP publishes a formal statement of its constitutional proposals in September 1991.

14 September 1991: The National Peace Accord (NPA) singing ceremony is held at the Carlton Hotel in Johannesburg.

End of September 1991: an informal agreement exists by now that an all-party congress will be held in November.

25 September 1991: The PAC and AZAPO agree to join the ANC at the all-party congress and to push for the formation of a Patriotic Front.

25-27 October 1991: 400 delegates representing 92 organizations meet in Durban to form the Patriotic Front, a loose alliance of anti-apartheid parties and organizations.

November 1991: During November, a Secret Pact is undertaken between ANC and NP covering issues such as negotiations, an interim authority, a preparatory convention and multi-party talks.

4 and 5 November 1991: COSATU Value added tax (VAT) strike.

13 November 1991: Nelson Mandela announces the scheduling of the first multi-party constitutional talks for the 29th and 30th of November 1991 at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

20 November 1991: Agreement is reached on outstanding issues pertaining to multi-party talks and the government, ANC and IFP announce the rescheduling of the negotiations to 20 and 21 December 1991.

29 and 30 November 1991: A preparatory meeting for the multi-party talks takes place, attended by 20 political organizations and administrations.

End of November 1991: PAC accuses the ANC and NP of reaching secret agreements and violating the spirit of the Patriotic Front.

Early December 1991: The IFP releases its first draft constitutional proposals.

16 December 1991: Ten minutes before the end of a steering committee meeting, the PAC exits CODESA in protest against secret talks between the ANC and the NP, and the necklacing of a PAC supporter in Munsieville (Krugersdorp). There are now 19 parties left in the negotiating process.

19 December 1991: the IFP announces that Buthelezi is withdrawing from CODESA because the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini has not been invited to the convention. Inkatha is still attending as a party.

20 and 21 December 1991: The first plenary session of CODESA takes place at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, Johannesburg.

Last updated : 15-May-2017

This article was produced for South African History Online on 05-May-2017

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