“By 17 December 1993, the text of the transitional constitution was virtually complete. There were still six important outstanding matters on which our negotiating teams had failed to reach agreement: 

“….I felt that an impossible situation would be created if the cabinet were to have to vote on every matter that came before it. If the minority party consistently thwarted the will of the majority it might in the end cause intolerable strains on the whole constitutional edifice. On the other hand, if we were to adopt a non-confrontational, non-voting approach all participants would probably be able to exercise real influence on decision-making. Mandela and I agreed that the GNU cabinet would take its decisions on the basis of the spirit of consensus underlying the concept of a government of national unity. In the end, this is how the Government of National Unity worked in practice – at least for the first two years of its existence. 

“We also reached a broad understanding on the other outstanding issues. On the basis of these discussions our negotiating teams were able to thrash out detailed agreements. During the hours preceding the adoption of the draft constitution by the plenary of the Multiparty Negotiating Forum, we also managed to reach agreement on the additional important issues: firstly, we secured confirmation that the Parliament and the Government of National Unity that would emerge from the elections of 27 April 1994, would continue for five years until 1999. There would be no new elections before this time, unless the government was defeated in a no-confidence vote. Secondly, and perhaps even more crucially,  we reached agreement on the manner in which the members of the Constitutional Court would be appointed.” 


“The Last Trek, a New Beginning” by FW de Klerk, p.289 – 290