The Story of the Constitution

South Africa’s first democratic Parliament served as a Constitutional Assembly to write our founding document. In the end, the two-year process was a race to the finish line.

The animated story of the Constitution

Watch this five part animation series on the evolution of a nation struggling to entrench democracy. It combines drawings, archival photos and films, and a rich soundtrack.

Negotiating our freedom

Discover the obstacles and breakthroughs in the negotiations process to forge a new nation. These are narrated by eye-witnesses of the process

Writing one law for one nation

Discover the nail-biting two-year process for Parliament to adopted a final Constitution which was signed into law by President Nelson Mandela on 10 December 1996.

Pioneers of the struggle

Learn about the diverse people who contributed to the struggle for freedom and reimagined a future for our country.

The timelines

Get a snapshot of different aspects of South Africa’s journey from apartheid to our constitutional democracy.


Audio Visual

President Mandela gives his State of the Nation address in Parliament. Mandela ends his address with the words, “Let us all get down to work”.

“We must construct that people-centred society of freedom in such a manner that it guarantees the political and the human rights of all our citizens.”– President Mandela, extract from State of the Nation Address, 24 May 1994

President Nelson Mandela announces his cabinet. It includes members of the African National Congress, National Party and Inkatha Freedom Party.

“There was pride in serving in the first democratic government in South Africa, and then the additional pride of serving under the iconic leadership of Nelson Mandela … [He] represented the hopes of not just our country, but of oppressed, marginalised and the poor in the world.”– Jay Naidoo, then Minister of RDP housing
“We place our vision of a new constitutional order for South Africa on the table not as conquerors, prescribing to the conquered. We speak as fellow citizens to heal the wounds of the past with the intent of constructing a new order based on justice for all.”– President Nelson Mandela, 10 May 1994