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 It is the product of almost two decades of research and includes analyses, chronologies, historical documents, and interviews from the apartheid and post-apartheid eras.

Tricameral Parliament

The government introduced a new constitution, master-minded by P.W. Botha, in 1984. Coloureds and Indians (but not Africans) were to participate with the whites in the central governmental process. Separate, racially segregated houses were created: a House of Representatives for Coloureds and a House of Delegates for Indians. The fact that Africans were excluded caused a howl of disapproval and exacerbated the township unrest. Furthermore the new proposals were not widely accepted by either Coloureds or Indians, many of whom boycotted the elections and rejected the subordinate status afforded to them in the new system. Its obvious failure was one of the reasons why F.W. de Klerk decided to initiate negotiations with the ANC* and other anti-apartheid groups. The tricameral parliament was disbanded in 1993 once it had approved the introduction of the new interim constitution. After the 1994 election it was superseded by the Government of National Unity.

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.