Deputy President of South Africa

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Deputy President of the
Republic of South Africa
10 other official names
  • Adjunkpresident van Suid-Afrika (Afrikaans)
  • iSekela likaMengameli weSewula Afrika (Southern Ndebele)
  • uSekela-Mongameli waseMzantsi Afrika (Xhosa)
  • iPhini likaMengameli waseNingizimu Afrika (Zulu)
  • liSekela laMengameli weleNingizimu Afrika (Swazi)
  • Motlatšamoporesitente wa Afrika Borwa (Northern Sotho)
  • Motlatsi wa Mopresidente wa Afrika Borwa (Sotho)
  • Motlatsamoporesitente wa Aforika Borwa (Tswana)
  • Xandla Xa Puresidente wa Afrika-Dzonga (Tsonga)
  • Muthusa Phresidennde wa Afrika Tshipembe (Venda)
David Mabuza.png
David Mabuza
since 27 February 2018
StyleMr Deputy President
His Excellency
(formal, diplomatic)
TypeDeputy to the
Head of State and Head of Government
ResidenceOliver Tambo House
(Cape Town)
Dr. John L. Dube House
Term lengthNo term limit
Inaugural holderF. W. De Klerk
Thabo Mbeki
Formation10 May 1994; 28 years ago (1994-05-10)
DeputyMinister in the Presidency

The deputy president of South Africa is the deputy to the head of state and head of government of the Republic of South Africa and is 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. The deputy president performs the duties of the president 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 generally appointed as the leader of government business in the Parliament of South Africa by the president.

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.

The official living residences of the deputy president are Oliver Tambo House in Pretoria, Highstead in Cape Town and Dr John L Dube House in Durban.

Inception and expiry of term[edit]

The Union Buildings in Pretoria is the seat of the South African presidency.

The deputy president's term of office is not fixed by law. The deputy president's term begins upon appointment from by the president. The deputy president must be selected from the 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.

Informal roles[edit]

Depending on the extent of any informal roles and functions of the deputy president depend on the specific relationship between the president and deputy president, but often the roles include tasks like:

  • Spokesperson for the administration policies
  • Adviser to the president
  • Step up when the president is out of the country

Deputy presidents of South Africa (1994–present)[edit]


  National Party
  African National Congress

No. Portrait Name
Term of office President Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Frederik Willem de Klerk, 1990.jpg F. W. de Klerk
10 May 1994 30 June 1996
2 years, 51 days Nelson Mandela National Party
2 Thabo Mbeki 2003.jpg Thabo Mbeki
(born 1942)
10 May 1994 16 June 1999
(became president)
5 years, 37 days African National Congress
3 Malcolm Turnbull and Jacob Zuma in Jakarta 2017 11 cropped.jpg Jacob Zuma
(born 1942)
16 June 1999 14 June 2005
(dismissed but became president on 9 May 2009)
5 years, 363 days Thabo Mbeki African National Congress
4 Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka 2014.jpg Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka
(born 1955)
14 June 2005 23 September 2008
3 years, 101 days African National Congress
5 Baleka Mbete.jpg Baleka Mbete
(born 1949)
25 September 2008 9 May 2009
(term ended)
226 days Kgalema Motlanthe African National Congress
6 Kgalema Motlanthe, 2009 World Economic Forum on Africa-1.jpg Kgalema Motlanthe
(born 1949)
9 May 2009 26 May 2014
(term ended)
5 years, 17 days Jacob Zuma African National Congress
7 Mr. Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General with H. E. Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa, President, South Africa (cropped).jpg Cyril Ramaphosa
(born 1952)
26 May 2014 15 February 2018
(became president)[1]
3 years, 265 days African National Congress
8 David Mabuza.png David Mabuza
(born 1960)
27 February 2018 Incumbent 4 years, 346 days Cyril Ramaphosa African National Congress

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "I, Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, swear that I will be faithful to the Republic of South Africa, as it happened". News24. Retrieved 2 August 2021.