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This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Resolution by the Conference for a Democratic Future on negotiations and the Constituent Assembly 8 December 1989

We, the 4 600 delegates to this historic Conference for a Democratic Future of the broad anti-apartheid liberation forces: i. Salute the fighting forces of our people who have conducted armed struggle, in view of the situation in which all peaceful avenues have been closed.

Noting that:

1. Organisations of the people remain banned, restricted and prevented from operating freely and hundreds of key individuals remain restricted.

2. Freedom of assembly, movement, association and speech and free political activity do not exist, thus making consultations with our people difficult, if not impossible.

3. Repression in many forms continues, including detention without trial, political imprisonment, political trials, the state of emergency and suppression of the media.

4. The government totally controls radio and television.

5. All major blocks which constitute and sustain the apartheid system remain intact.


1. That there can be no solution in the interests of the oppressed and exploited masses whilst apartheid structures and its laws still exist.

2. That the basis and climate for genuine negotiations do not exist and that De Klerk's proposals for negotiations, supported by the imperialists, are designed to enmesh our organisations and people in schemes to maintain the status quo.


1. Our immediate tasks are to strive for: One person one vote in a united democratic country; lifting of the State of Emergency; unconditional release of all political prisoners; unbanning of all banned organisations.

2. The abolition of all laws which inhibit free speech, press, association and assembly; a living wage; the right to work.

3. That the demand for a Constituent Assembly of the oppressed and exploited is in opposition to all attempts of the regime to divide us in the name of'power sharing', 'group rights' and negotiated settlement.

Thereby Resolves:

1. To adopt the Harare Declaration on how the conflict in SA could be resolved and the solidarity and support of the Organisation of African Unity and the Frontline states in particular.

2. To call for a Constituent Assembly established on a non-racial basis representing all the people of SA to draw up a New Constitution for our country.

3. To call on our people and organisations to mobilise our forces, to organise and intensify the struggle for the creation of a single non-racial democratic SA with a single parliament and a single universal suffrage.

4. To call on the international community to intensify the isolation of the S A regime and to impose comprehensive and mandatory sanctions.

5. That real democracy be given to the freely elected delegates of the people, united in the Constituent Assembly on the basis of one person one vote in a unitary South Africa.

6. Only the constituent assembly has the right and duty to define a new constitution as well as the form and social content of a new and just society.

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