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The Deadline
Directed by David Jammy
A Mail & Guardian Television Production
Produced for the South African Constitutional Assembly
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Filmed during the closing stages South Africa's Constitutional Assembly, THE DEADLINE is an inside look at the realpolitik negotiations.

May 10th, 1996 was chosen by the major South African political parties as the deadline for the new constitution. Following the first democratic elections (April, 1994), the ANC-led parliament set about the two year task of creating a blue-print for an apartheid-free society, a blueprint that was to include a set of inalienable rights.

By the final four weeks most of the Constitution had been written, but disputes over a few key issues - property rights, labor rights, education, language. - remained.

Tension grew as the deadline loomed, and the playful cameraderie that had characterized much of the negotiations gave way to open antagonism, accusations, and counter accusations. A deadlock over outstanding issues continued until the final night, threatening to derail the transition to democracy.

THE DEADLINE, commissioned by the Constitutional Assembly, provides a unique behind-the-scenes look at one of the most historic and dramatic constitutional processes of the 20th century.

"An in-depth, intimate view of the exciting and critical final period in the writing of the new South African constitution... exceedingly informative... of great interest to scholars of contemporary South Africa."—Educational Media Reviews Online

  

52 minutes / color
Release: 1997
Copyright: 1996
Sale: $298

Subject areas:
Africa, Comparative Government, Law, Politics, South Africa

Related Titles:
An Empire of Reason: What it would have been like if television had covered the ratification process of the US Constitution in 1781.

Story of a Beautiful Country: A South African filmmaker travels in a mini-van taxi across his country with a hand-held camera. Topics range over controversial issues such as land, race, language, democracy, identity, and violence.

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