The Presidential Years

The platform in which nineteen political groups met from December 1991 to negotiate a new dispensation for South Africa. The negotiations took place at the World Trade Centre in Kempton Park, near Johannesburg. At CODESA 1, a Declaration of Intent was signed and five working groups were appointed to develop a new constitution for a democratic South Africa, make arrangements for an interim government and decide upon the future of homelands, among other issues. However, during CODESA 2, which commenced in May 1992, talks broke down over discussions around majority rule and power sharing. More than a month later, in June, Mandela suspended talks following allegations of police involvement in the massacre at Boipatong. Eventually, behind-the-scenes meetings between cabinet minister Roelf Meyer and ANC member Cyril Ramaphosa were followed by the resumption of the negotiations through the Multiparty Negotiating Forum, which met for the first time on 1 April 1993.