The Presidential Years

Negotiated in the Constitutional Assembly from May 1994 to October 1996 during the Government of National Unity (GNU). During the CODESA talks – started in 1991 – the National Party and ANC had agreed to create an interim constitution, which would be the basis for a final constitution. The final constitution was to be drawn up by members of the two houses of Parliament sitting as a Constitutional Assembly. On 8 May 1996 the final constitution was adopted by the National Assembly and one day later, second deputy president, F. W. de Klerk, announced the withdrawal of his National Party from the GNU, with effect from 30 June. After amendments required by the Constitutional Court, the final text was adopted by the Constitutional Assembly in October 1996. The Constitutional Court is the final arbiter of whether laws and regulations comply with the Constitution.