Deputy President of South Africa
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The Deputy President of South Africa is the acting President of South Africa when the President is outside the country's borders, unable to fulfill the duties of the office, or when the Presidency is vacant. The Deputy President is also a member of the National Assembly and the Cabinet. The Deputy President is constitutionally required to 'assist the President in the execution of the functions of government,' and may be assigned any government portfolio by presidential proclamation.
Under the interim constitution (valid from 1994 to 1996), there was a Government of National Unity, in which a member of parliament from the largest opposition party was entitled to a position as deputy president. Along with Mbeki, the previous State President, F.W. De Klerk also served as Deputy President in his capacity as the leader of the National Party, then the second-largest party in the new Parliament. 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.
Inception and expiry of term
The Deputy President's term of office is not fixed by law. The Deputy President's term begins when he or she is appointed by the President from amongst members of the National Assembly and takes a prescribed oath.
The Deputy President's term is ended by one of four constitutional mechanisms: dismissal by the President, a successful 'motion of no confidence in the President' by the National Assembly, a successful 'motion of no confidence excluding the President' by the National Assembly, or a newly elected President's assumption of office. Presumably, a statement of resignation would also be sufficient to end a Deputy President's term of office.
List of Deputy Presidents of South Africa, 1994–present
|#||Deputy President||Portrait||Took office||Left office||President||Party|
|1||F. W. de Klerk
|10 May 1994||30 June 1996
|10 May 1994||16 June 1999
|16 June 1999||14 June 2005
|14 June 2005||24 September 2008
|24 September 2008||9 May 2009||Kgalema Motlanthe|
|9 May 2009||Incumbent||Jacob Zuma|
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