Democratic Politics (NTSE/Olympiad)
3. Constitution Design
South Africa’s struggle for independence and its drawing up the new constitution
The drawing up of a common constitution for South Africa after its independence in 1994 is regarded as a marvel in the annals of world history. Mainly because two divergent types of people, the Whites and black - completely forgot their past hostile memories, showed a great deal of a maturity and agreed on certain common things. Their spirit of forgetfulness and compromises received a world-wide acclaim. Let us study the freedom struggle of the Blacks against the White oppressive regime and the drawing up of a common Constitution for their country.
Freedom struggle in South Africa 1994 :
South Africa was the last state of Africa to get her freedom in 1994. For a very long time, the minority government of the whites, committed many atrocities on the black people. It followed the policy of apartheid (or racial segregation) and kept the black people under its thumb. But ultimately, the good sense prevailed on white government of President F.W. de Klark.
President F.W. de Klark agreed to hold elections on 27th April, 1994. As a result of these elections, Dr. Nelson Mandela won the elections and he became the First President of independent South Africa.
How did the white Minority and the Black Majority agree to draw up a common Constitution for South Africa ? It was not an easy task for the two divergent people of South Africa - the White oppressor and the Black Oppressed ones - to draw up a common Constitution for the country when it became free in 1994. But both sides showed maturity and agreed on many compromises.
1. The Whites agreed to the principle of majority rule.
2. They also agreed to some basic rights for the poor and the workers.
3. The black agreed that majority rule would not be absolute.
4. They also agreed that the majority would not take away the property of the White Minority.