President of South Africa
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|President of the
Republic of South Africa
Seal of the President of South Africa
|Residence||Mahlamba Ndlopfu (Pretoria)
Genadendal (Cape Town)
|Appointer||National Assembly of South Africa|
|Term length||5 years
|Inaugural holder||Nelson Mandela|
|Formation||10 May 1994|
|Deputy||Deputy President of South Africa|
|This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of
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. 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)".
List of Presidents of South Africa (1994–Present) 
|Picture||Took office||Left office||Elected
|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
|African National Congress|
|3||Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe
|25 September 2008||9 May 2009||—||African National Congress|
|4||Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma
|9 May 2009||Incumbent||2009 (25th)||African National Congress|
Latest election 
See also 
- State President of South Africa
- Prime Minister of South Africa
- Governor-General of the Union of South Africa
- List of Presidents of the South African Republic (1857–1902)
- State President of the Orange Free State
- Freedom Day
- "Constitution, chapter 5: The President and National Executive, 88. Term of office of President".
- "Zuma sworn in as SA’s fourth democratic President". SABC. 9 May 2009. Retrieved 9 May 2009.
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