President of South Africa: Wikis


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President of the
Republic of South Africa
President of South Africa.svg
Emblem of the President of South Africa
Jacob Zuma

since 9 May 2009
Residence Mahlamba Ndlopfu (Pretoria)
Genadendal (Cape Town)
Appointer National Assembly of South Africa
Term length 5 years
Inaugural holder Charles Robberts Swart (State President)
Nelson Mandela (President)
Formation 31 May 1961 (State President)
10 May 1994 (President of South Africa)
Deputy Deputy President of South Africa
South Africa

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The President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under South Africa's Constitution. From 1961 to 1994, the head of state was called the State President.

The President is elected by members of the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament, usually being the leader of the largest party, which has been the African National Congress since the first non-racial elections were held on 27 April 1994. The first President to be elected under the new Constitution was Nelson Mandela, who was succeeded by Thabo Mbeki in 1999, followed by Kgalema Motlanthe in September 2008, and then Jacob Zuma in May 2009. In §5, section 88, the Constitution also limits the President's time in office to two terms.[1] Presidents are elected after each parliamentary election, giving presidents a term of office of between five and ten years.

Under the interim Constitution (valid from 1994 to 1996), there was a Government of National Unity, in which an MP from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as Deputy President. Along with Mbeki, the last State President, F.W. De Klerk also served as Deputy President, in his capacity as the leader of the National Party which was the second-largest party in the new Parliament. But De Klerk later resigned and went into opposition with his party. A voluntary coalition government continues to exist under the new constitution (adopted in 1996), although there have been no appointments of opposition politicians to the post of deputy president.


Presidential powers

  • Head of State and Government of the Republic of South Africa
  • Leader of the Cabinet
  • Appoints ministers and members to the Cabinet
  • Awards and confers the National Orders of the State
  • Commander-in-Chief of the South African National Defence Force
  • Appoints the Chief Justices of the State
  • Must approve all bills, amendments and legislation
  • May declare war or peace

The President is referred to as: "Your Excellency", "Mr/Madam President" or "The Honourable (name)".

The official seat of the President are the Union Buildings in Pretoria and the Tuynhuys in Cape Town. His living residences are Mahlamba Ndlopfu in Pretoria and Genadendal in Cape Town.

List of Presidents of South Africa (1961-present)

      National Party       African National Congress

# Name Picture Life span Took office Left office Political Party
State Presidents as head of state (Ceremonial, 1961-1984)
1 Charles Robberts Swart CR Swart.jpg 1894 — 1982 31 May 1961 31 May 1967 National Party
Theophilus Ebenhaezer Dönges Dönges.jpg 1898 — 1968 Elected but did not take office because of illness National Party
Jozua François Naudé
1889 — 1969 1 June 1967 10 April 1968 National Party
2 Jacobus Johannes Fouché 1898 — 1980 10 April 1968 9 April 1975 National Party
Johannes de Klerk
1903 — 1979 9 April 1975 19 April 1975 National Party
3 Nicolaas Diederichs 1903 — 1978 19 April 1975 21 August 1978
(died in office)
National Party
Marais Viljoen
1915 — 2007 21 August 1978 10 October 1978 National Party
4 Balthazar Johannes Vorster 1915 — 1983 10 October 1978 4 June 1979
National Party
5 Marais Viljoen 1915 — 2007 19 June 1979
Acting since 4 June 1979
3 September 1984 National Party
State Presidents as Head of State and Government (Executive, 1984-1994)
1 Pieter Willem Botha Pieter W. Botha.jpg 1916 — 2006 14 September 1984
Acting since 3 September 1984
15 August 1989
National Party
Chris Heunis
1927 — 2006 19 January 1989 15 March 1989 National Party
2 Frederik Willem de Klerk Frederik Willem de Klerk.jpg 1936 —         20 September 1989
Acting since 15 August 1989
10 May 1994 National Party
Presidents of post-Apartheid South Africa (also with executive powers, since 1994)
1 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Nelson Mandela.jpg 1918 —         10 May 1994 16 June 1999 African National Congress
2 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki SthAfrica.ThaboMbeki.01.jpg 1942 —         16 June 1999 24 September 2008
African National Congress
3 Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe GeorgeBushKgalemaMotlanthe crop.jpg 1949 —         25 September 2008 9 May 2009[2] African National Congress
4 Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma Jacob G. Zuma - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2010.jpg 1942—         9 May 2009[2] Incumbent African National Congress

First Ladies


See also


External links



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