From 1990 to 1994, the Community Law Centre (now: Dullah Omar Institute) focused its work on shaping a democratic South Africa. Under the leadership of Adv Dullah Omar, the Centre directly influenced the constitutional negotiations with academic research.

The Centre produced many papers, drafted by some of the African National Congress' key negotiators, on topics related to the quest for a constitutional democracy. Some of the papers can be downloaded below.


The Situation of Women in a Changing South Africa
Author: Brigitte Mabandla
Published: Nov 23, 1991

In this paper, delivered to the United Nation’s Centre for the Development and Advancement of Women in Geneva, Brigitte Mabandla provides an overview of the state of women’s rights in South Africa in 1991. She explains how women are organised and discusses the launch of the ANC Women’s League and other organisations promoting women’s rights. She also explains how the ANC underwent a change internally, coming to terms with understanding race, class and gender struggles. She discusses the role of Universities (the University of the Western Cape in particular) in conceptualising gender oppression. Finally, she provides an overview of those provisions in the ANC's draft Bill of Rights (1991) that protect women’s rights, ranging from equal rights, affirmative action and the ‘right to a home’.

Women Decide on Their Future
Author: Brigitte S Mabandla
Published: Nov 01, 1991

The work plan for the gender programme which is entitled "Woman decide on their future" is a project that sought to formulate a concrete strategy that would form the theoretical backbone of the woman's movement in South Africa both during the constitutional negotiations and in the early years of the future democratic South Africa. In this note, Mrs Brigitte Mabandla discusses the reasons behind the inception of the project, the different stakeholders involved in the project and where it was launched, as well as the various stages of the work plan.

Protecting human rights in a new South Africa
Author: Albie Sachs
Published: Aug 25, 1990

In this article, Albie Sachs provides a discussion of the five basic constitutional schemes that formed the basis proposals that were made for the new constitutional dispensation in South Africa. These constitutional schemes can be distinguished as follows, 1) Open apartheid, 2) Reformed apartheid, 3) Multiracial apartheid, 4) democratic apartheid, 5) Anti apartheid. in his discussion, the author unpacks what each constitutional scheme entails and outlines the advantages and difficulties associated with each of the schemes.

The Future Constitutional Position of White South Africans: Some Further Ideas
Author: Albie Sachs
Published: Jan 18, 1990

A paper, written by Albie Sachs under the auspices of the South Africa Constitutional Studies Centre in London, shortly before he joined the Community Law Centre. He discusses the emotive issue of the future position of White South Africans in a democratic South Africa. 'Freedom', he argues, means to be permitted to do what was formerly unjustly forbidden. He discusses how the new Constitution of South Africa has to be for all South Africans, former oppressors and oppressed alike.

A Proposed Land Reform Programme For Zimbabwe.
Author: Robert B. Siedman
Published: Jul 08, 1983

This article was written in 1983 and describes three bills then proposed as the basis of a land reform programme. The paper argues first, that Zimbabwe's land problems in a large part arose out of the received legal order, both in terms of roman-dutch law, legislation and the law relating to land in what Zimbabwe now called communal areas. Secondly, it then discusses the Lancanster House Constitution and the serious but not insurmountable constraints on land reform the Constitution imposed. Finally, the paper discusses the three Acts that embodied the core of a possible land reform legislative programme.

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