A look at SA’s first democratic Parliament 30 years ago

National Assembly
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Following the announcement of the results of the first democratic election 30 years ago, the first Parliament under the democratic dispensation assembled. At the time, it comprised seven political parties. They were the African National Congress (ANC), which received 252 seats, the Democratic Party (DA), Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), National Party, African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), FF-Plus and the Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) shared the remaining 148 seats.

The National Assembly’s public gallery was packed to capacity by those who witnessed this momentous occasion, presided over by then Chief Justice Michael Corbett. As new MPs were being sworn-in, a majority of the representatives were those who were disenfranchised in the past.

Nelson Mandela was announced as the first democratic President to rousing applause and congratulatory messages from his peers. His election meant that his destination was the highest office in administration, the Union Buildings.

That’s also where he took the oath of office and his inauguration ceremony took place. A couple of days later, Mandela was back at Parliament for the opening of the first democratic parliament. And it was business for the Speaker to maintain order as jubilant MPs could not hold themselves back.

After three decades, the number of political parties represented have doubled to 14, and after this year’s election there’s a possibility of independent candidates being represented.

South Africa’s democratic Parliament: