FW de Klerk and Nelson Mandela

Building a Future Together

The South African Constitutional Negotiations


The establishment of the Constitution in South Africa was conducted through a series of negotiations between 1990 and 1993, and through unilateral steps taken by the De Klerk administration. These negotiations took place between the governing National Party, the African National Congress, and a wide variety of other political organisations.

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For the Rights of All

The South African Constitution


1961 Constitutional Act

The fundamental law of South Africa for two decades. Under the terms of the Constitution, South Africa left the Commonwealth and became a republic. Legally, the Union of South Africa, which had existed since 1910, came to an end and was re-established as the “Republic of South Africa”.

1983 Constitutional Act

South Africa’s third constitution. It replaced the republican constitution that had been adopted when South Africa became a republic in 1961 and was in force for ten years before it was superseded by the Interim Constitution on 27 April 1994, which in turn led to the current Constitution of South Africa.

1993 Interim Constitution

As a transitional constitution, it required the newly elected Parliament to also serve as a constituent assembly to adopt a final constitution. It made provision for a major restructuring of government as a consequence of the abolition of apartheid.

The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa (1996)

The supreme law of the Republic of South Africa. It provides the legal foundation for the existence of the republic, it sets out the rights and duties of its citizens, and it defines the structure of the government.

The FW de Klerk Foundation presents

The Centre for Constitutional Rights