List of Heads of State of South Africa
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List of Heads of State of South Africa

Insigne Africae australis.svg

politics and government of
South Africa
Flag of South Africa.svg South Africa portal

This is a list of the heads of state of South Africa, from the foundation of the Union of South Africa in 1910 to the present day.

From 1910 to 1961 the head of state under the South Africa Act 1909 was the Monarch, who was the same person as the Monarch of the United Kingdom and of the other Dominions/Commonwealth realms. The Monarch was represented in South Africa by a Governor-General. South Africa became a republic under the Constitution of 1961 and the Monarch and Governor-General were replaced by a ceremonial State President. In 1984, under the Tricameral Constitution, the State President gained executive powers, becoming head of both state and government. Since 1994, under the Interim Constitution and the current Constitution, the head of state and government has been called the President.

Monarchs (1910-1961)

The succession to the throne of South Africa was the same as the succession to the British throne. During the Abdication Crisis the South African parliament passed its own act, "His Majesty King Edward the Eighth's Abdication Act, 1937", to ratify the abdication of Edward VIII.

No Portrait Monarch
(Birth-Death)
Reign Royal House Prime Minister
Reign start Reign end Duration
1 George V of the united Kingdom.jpg King George V
(1865-1936)
1910 1936 25 years,

260 days

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha
(until 17 July 1917)
Windsor
(since 17 July 1917)
Botha
Smuts
Hertzog
2 Edward VIII Portrait - 1936.jpg King Edward VIII
(1894-1972)
1936 1936
(abdicated.)
326 days Windsor Hertzog
3 King George VI.jpg King George VI
(1895-1952)
1936 1952 15 years,

58 days

Windsor Hertzog
Smuts
Malan
4 Queen Elizabeth II 1959.jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(1926-)
1952 1961 9 years,

116 days

Windsor Malan
Strijdom
Verwoerd

Governor-General

The Governor-General was the representative of the monarch in South Africa and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931 and the Status of the Union Act, 1934, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of South Africa without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
No Portrait Governor-General
(Birth-Death)
Term of office Monarch Prime Minister
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Herbert John Gladstone.jpg The Rt. Hon. The Viscount Gladstone
(1854-1930)
1910 1914 4 years,

99 days

George V Botha
2 Sydney Buxton, 1st Earl Buxton.jpg The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Buxton
(1853-1934)
1914 1920 6 years,

69 days

George V Botha
Smuts
3 Prince Arthur of Connaught colour.jpg HRH Prince Arthur of Connaught
(1883-1938)
1920 1924 3 years,

64 days

George V Smuts
4 Earlofathlone.jpg The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Athlone
(1874-1957)
1924 1931 7 years,

5 days

George V Smuts
Hertzog
5 George Herbert Hyde Villiers.jpg The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Clarendon
(1877-1955)
1931 1937 6 years,

70 days

George V
Edward VIII
George VI
Hertzog
6 Patrick Duncan.jpg Sir Patrick Duncan
(1870-1943)
1937 1943
(died in office.)
6 years,

103 days

George VI Hertzog
Smuts
7 Nicolaas de Wet.jpg Nicolaas Jacobus de Wet
(1873-1960)
1943 1946 2 years,

167 days

George VI Smuts
8 Gideon Brand van Zyl.jpg Gideon Brand van Zyl
(1873-1956)
1946 1951 5 years George VI Smuts
Malan
9 EG Jansen 1949.jpg Ernest George Jansen
(1881-1959)
1951 1959
(died in office.)
8 years,

328 days

George VI
Elizabeth II
Malan
Strijdom
Verwoerd
10 No image.png Lucas Cornelius Steyn
(1903-1976)
1959 1959 16 days Elizabeth II Verwoerd
11 CR Swart 1960.jpg Charles Robberts Swart
(1894-1982)
1959 1961
(resigned.)
1 year,

140 days

Elizabeth II Verwoerd
12 No image.png Lucas Cornelius Steyn
(1903-1976)
1961 1961 31 days Elizabeth II Verwoerd

Ceremonial State President of South Africa (1961-1984)

Under the 1961 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of South Africa, the State President replaced the Monarch as ceremonial head of state. The State President was elected by Parliament for a seven-year term. In the event of a vacancy the President of the Senate served as Acting State President.

Status
  Denotes President of the Senate acting as State President
No Portrait State President
(Birth-Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Prime Minister
Took office Left office Time in office
13 CR Swart 1960.jpg Charles Robberts Swart
(1894-1982)
1961 1961 1967
(resigned.)
6 years,

1 day

National Party Verwoerd
Vorster
14 Dönges cropped.jpg Eben Dönges
(1898-1968)
Did not take office because of illness National Party
15 Tom Naudé 1962.jpg Jozua François Naudé
(1889-1969)
-- 1967 1968 314 days National Party Vorster
16 JJ Fouche.jpg Jacobus Johannes Fouché
(1898-1980)
1968 1968 1975 6 years,

364 days

National Party Vorster
17 Jan de Klerk.jpg Johannes de Klerk
(1903-1979)
-- 1975 1975 10 days National Party Vorster
18 Nicolaas Diederichs.jpg Nico Diederichs
(1903-1978)
1975 1975 1978
(died in office.)
3 years,

123 days

National Party Vorster
19 Marais Viljoen.jpg Marais Viljoen
(1915-2007)
-- 1978 1978 50 days National Party Vorster
Botha
20 John Vorster.jpg B. J. Vorster
(1915-1983)
1978 1978 1979
(resigned.)
237 days National Party Botha
21 Marais Viljoen.jpg Marais Viljoen
(1915-2007)
1979 1979 1979 5 years,

90 days

National Party Botha
22 1979 1984

Executive State President of South Africa (1984-1994)

Under the 1983 Constitution the State President was head of both state and government. The State President was elected by an electoral college chosen by Parliament and served until the next general election, but was eligible for re-election. In the event of a vacancy the Cabinet would nominate a member to serve as Acting State President.

Status
  Denotes Acting State President
No Portrait State President
(Birth-Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
23 PW Botha 1962.jpg P. W. Botha
(1916-2006)
1984 1984 1984 4 years,

137 days

National Party
24 1984 1989
(resigned.)
25 Chris Heunis, 1985.jpg Jan Christiaan Heunis
(1927-2006)
-- 1989 1989 54 days National Party
26 1989 1989
27 Frederik Willem de Klerk.jpg F. W. de Klerk
(1936-)
1989 1989 1989 5 years,

55 days

National Party
28 1989 1994

President of South Africa (1994-present)

Under the Interim Constitution and the current Constitution the President is head of both state and government. The President is elected by the National Assembly and serves a term that expires at the next general election; a President may serve a maximum of two terms. In the event of a vacancy the Deputy President serves as Acting President.

  Denotes Acting President
No Portrait President
(Birth-Death)
Elected Term of office Political affiliation
(at time of appointment)
Took office Left office Time in office
29 Nelson Mandela.jpg Nelson Mandela
(1918-2013)
1994 1994 1999 5 years,

35 days

African National Congress
30 SthAfrica.ThaboMbeki.01.jpg Thabo Mbeki
(1942-)
1999
2004
1999 2008
(resigned.)
9 years,

102 days

African National Congress
31 No image.png Ivy Matsepe-Casaburri
(1937-2009)
-- 2008[1] 14 hours African National Congress
32 GeorgeBushKgalemaMotlanthe crop.jpg Kgalema Motlanthe
(1949-)
2008 2008 2009 228 days African National Congress
33 Jacob G. Zuma - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting Davos 2010.jpg Jacob Zuma
(1942-)
2009
2014
2009
(resigned.)
8 years,

281 days

African National Congress
34 Cyril Ramaphosa in Tehran.jpg Cyril Ramaphosa
(1952-)
2018 2018 2018 1 year,

255 days

African National Congress
35 2018 Incumbent

Standards

Living former heads of state

There are four living former South African Presidents and one living former Queen of South Africa:

The Most Recent Death of a South African President was Nelson Mandela in 2013.

References

  1. ^ Chikane, Frank (28 April 2012). "Emotional farewell as Mbeki holds last cabinet meeting". Daily Nation. Retrieved 2016.

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

List_of_heads_of_state_of_South_Africa
 



 



 
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