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3 Rev. Const. Stud. 18 (1996)
Participating in the Design: Constitution-Making in South Africa

handle is hein.journals/revicos3 and id is 20 raw text is: PARTICIPATING IN THE DESIGN:
Heinz Klug

Constitution-making has typically been an elite
driven process. The nature of this process and its
outcome - the fettering of the will of the majority
- has led to assertions that constitutionalism is
anti-democratic. The author here concedes that
these assertions are valid, but argues that the
process leading up to the adoption of the interim
South African Constitution tended to minimize
elite domination and, indeed, was relatively inclu-
sive. Professor Klug suggests that the confluence
of a variety of forces, both domestic and inter-
national, necessitated an open and inclusive
process of constitution-making in South Africa. As
a result, groups based on shared characteristics,
such as ethnicity, gender or class formed and, with
varying degrees of success, were able to influence
the outcome of constitutional negotiations. Indeed,
South Africa's history is such that an elite domi-
nated constitution-making process, particularly a
process involving the National Party, would be
widely perceived as profoundly illegitimate. The
stage thus was set for the adoption of a final
constitution by an inclusive, democratically
elected South African Constitutional Assembly.

La ridaction d 'une constitution a toujours dti un
processus influenci par 1'dlite. La nature de ce
processus et son risultat - le b6illonnement de la
voix de la majoritd - a conduit bz affirmer que le
constitutionnalisme  est  anti-dimocratique.
L 'auteur reconnait ici la validitd de ces assertions,
mais dimontre qu 'en Afrique du Sud, le processus
d'adoption de la Constitution provisoire a tendu t
minimiser la domination de i 'elite et qu 'il s 'est en
fait aviri relativement inclusif Le Pr Klug
sugg~re que la confluence de diverses forces,
domestiques et internationales, a imposd le
caract~re ouvert et inclusive de ce processus en
Afrique du Sud. Il s 'ensuit que certains groupes
aux caractdristiques communes (ethnicitd, genre
ou classe) se sontformis et, avec un succis mitigi,
ou pu infldchir le risultat des nigociations
constitutionnelles. Compte tenu de I 'histoire sud-
africaine, il est 9vident qu 'un  processus
d 'ilaboration de la constitution domind par 1 'lite,
et impliquant de surcroit le National Party, avait
de quoi etre largement perqu comme profonddment
illdgitime. Tout semble indiquer que le texte
ddfinitif sera donc adoptd par une Assemblde
constitutionnelle sud-africaine ddmocratiquement
dlue et inclusive.

The act of constitution-making lies at the center of the tension between
rational design,' which views the act as the supreme case of human societies'

School of Law, University of Witwatersrand, Republic of South Africa.
Rational design here invokes the logic of enlightenment rationality which asks of the
present not how it fits into a wider scheme, or what does it say about tomorrow, or even
whether it is the beginning of a new world, but rather what difference does today
introduce with respect to yesterday? See M. Foucault, What is Enlightenment? in
P. Rabinow, ed., The Foucault Reader (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984) at 33-34.
Foucault describes this perspective as part of an attitude of modernity which has

Revue d'itudes constitutionnelles

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