About this site

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, 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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

The Composition of CODESA

CODESA consisted of:

*     All five of the Working Groups consisted of two delegates and two advisors from each of the 19 parties, as well as Chairperson(s) appointed on a rotational basis.

*     The Working Groups, were responsible for raising or receiving, discussing and agreeing on proposals relevant to their specific areas of responsibility. Negotiation took place in Working Groups 1-4, agreements were to be reached by "sufficient consensus" to be ratified by the Management Committee and the CODESA Plenary. Working Group 5 was left to consider how and when implementation of agreements should occur.

*     Working Group 1 concentrated on the creation of a climate for free and fair elections, including access to the media, control of the security forces and the like.

*     Working Group 2 was charged with drawing up constitutional principles as well as guidelines for a constitution making body.

*     Working Group 3 had the task of considering and investigating transitional mechanisms i.e. an interim/transitional government.

*     Working Group 4 had the task of looking at the future of the so called TBVC States and there inclusion in the future South Africa.

*     Working Group 5 had the mandate to look at process and time frames.

*     Each Working Group appointed a Steering Committee (WGSC) consisting of 3 -8 people from the members of the Working Group.

*     Most of the Working Groups appointed rapporteur(s).

*     The rapporteur(s) should be/were ex officio member(s) of the WGSC.

*     The WGSC were charged with the task of preparing an agenda for each session of the Working Group.

*     The work of sub-groups or sub-committees (arising from Terms of Reference) were co-ordinated by the WGSC.

*     After CODESA 2, the Management Committee, as mandated by the CODESA 2 Plenary, suspended the Working Groups - The functions of the Working Groups were then channelled to the Management Committee. The Management Committee formed sub-committees of the Management Committee which were supposed to take the incomplete and outstanding work further. Also agreed at the CODESA 2 Plenary was that the Working Groups could be reconvened by the Management Committee if and when necessary to agree upon recommendations reached in the sub-committees of the Management Committee.

This resource is hosted by the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, but was compiled and authored by Padraig O’Malley. Return to the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory site.