Delegates from twenty groups (SA government, ''homeland'' governments, political parties, political organisations and non-governmental organisations) agreed, after preparatory talks in Johannesburg, on a date for the start of negotiations on South Africa''s future constitution.
Delegates agreed that the proposed multiparty conference would be called Convention for a Democratic South Africa (CODESA) and that the first meeting would take place on 20-21 December 1991. Every party or government would be represented by twelve delegates. A steering group, comprising of all twenty groups and headed by Zach De Beer of the Democratic Party was assigned to make final arrangements for CODESA. The Pan-Africanist Congress (PAC), arguing that the constitutional talks should be held outside South Africa, announced its intention not to be part of CODESA and accused the government and the African National Congress (ANC) of secret collaboration. Both the PAC and the Azanian People''s Organization (AZAPO) refused to take part because they did not want to hold talks with the government. The Conservative Party (CP), the Herstigte National Party (HNP) and the right wing Afrikaner Resistance Movement (AWB) in their turn refused to attend the meeting because they did not want to negotiate with the ANC.
The opening session of CODESA took take place on 20-21 December 1991 and culminated in the signing of a Declaration of Intent signed by sixteen parties.
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