ArchivalPlatform.org (2011). ‘Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA)’from Memory of the World Register [online]. Available at www.archivalplatform.org [Accessed 09 November 2011]|Kalley, J.A., Schoeman, E. and Andor, L.E. (1999). Southern African Political History: a chronology of key political events from independence to mid-1997. Westport: Greenwood|Meer, F. (ed.) (1993). The Codesa File: an Institute for Black Research Project. Durban: Madiba Publishers. p. 55.
Twenty years ago, one of the most significant events in the history of South Africa, described by many as tension-driven and known as the Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA), took place at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, on the East Rand, Johannesburg. After several months of negotiating, delegations from nineteen political organisations and the South African government convened to plan the creation of a transitional government and a representative parliament. Seventeen of the nineteen parties agreed to support the 'Declaration of Intent', committing themselves to a multiparty system of government and to the writing of a new Constitution for a democratic South Africa. The Conference established five working groups, each made up of thirty-eight delegates and thirty-eight advisers. It aimed: to take the lead in creating a climate for free political activity to determine basic constitutional principles and to establish transitional procedures for the nominally independent homelands to set and oversee timetables for the transition to deal with new problems that would arise during the transition itself.