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South African President

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South African President

This article is about the position of South African Head of State and Head of Government from 1994. For the position of South African Head of State from 1961 to 1994, see State President of South Africa.

President of the
Republic of South Africa
Seal of the President of South Africa
Mahlamba Ndlopfu (Pretoria)
Genadendal (Cape Town)
Appointer National Assembly of South Africa
Term length 5 years
renewable once
Inaugural holder Nelson Mandela
Formation 10 May 1994
Deputy Deputy President of South Africa

The President of the Republic of South Africa is the head of state and head of government under the Constitution of South Africa. 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, and is usually 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 role was originally founded to be distinct from the now defunct role of prime minister, but the two roles were merged in the 1983 constitution which specified a four-year term of office. The 1993 and later constitutions limits the president's time in office to two five-year terms.[1] The first President to be elected under the new constitution was Nelson Mandela, and the incumbent president is Jacob Zuma.

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 Thabo 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 Justice, Deputy Chief Justice, President and Deputy President of the Supreme Court of Appeal.
  • Must sign all acts of Parliament
  • May declare war or peace

The President is addressed as "Your Excellency" or "Mr/Madam President" and referred to as "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 (1994 – present)


      African National Congress

# Name
Picture Took office Left office Elected
Political Party
Presidents of post-Apartheid South Africa (also with executive powers, since 1994)
1 Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela
10 May 1994 16 June 1999 1994 (22nd) African National Congress
2 Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki
16 June 1999 24 September 2008
1999 (23rd)
2004 (24th)
African National Congress
3 Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe
25 September 2008 9 May 2009[2] 2008 (24th) African National Congress
4 Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
100px 9 May 2009[2] Incumbent 2009 (25th) African National Congress

Latest election

See also


External links

  • Office of the Presidency

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