fbpx
Wikipedia

State President of South Africa

This article is about the position of South African head of state from 1961 to 1994. For the position of South African head of state and head of government from 1994, see President of South Africa.

The state president of the Republic of South Africa (Afrikaans: Staatspresident) was the head of state of South Africa from 1961 to 1994. The office was established when the country became a republic in 1961, and Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be monarch of South Africa. The position of Governor-General of South Africa was accordingly abolished. From 1961 to 1984, the post was largely ceremonial. After constitutional reforms enacted in 1983 and taking effect in 1984, the State President became an executive post, and its holder was both head of state and head of government.

State President of South Africa
Staatspresident van Suid-Afrika
Standard of the State President (1984–1994)
Longest serving
Jim Fouché

10 April 1968 – 9 April 1975
StyleThe Honourable(until 1985)
AbbreviationSP
ResidenceTuynhuys
AppointerParliament of South Africa
Term lengthSeven years, nonrenewable(until 1984)
Duration of Parliament
(normally five years)(1984–94)
PrecursorMonarch of South Africa
Formation31 May 1961(ceremonial)
3 September 1984(executive)
First holderCharles Robberts Swart
Final holderFrederik Willem de Klerk
Abolished10 May 1994
SuccessionPresident of South Africa
DeputyVice State President of South Africa(1981–1984)
The Standard of the South African State President from 1961 to 1984.

The office was abolished in 1994, with the end of Apartheid and the transition to democratic majority rule. Since then, the head of state and head of government is known simply as the President of South Africa.

Contents

De Tuynhuys, used as the office of the State President

Republicanism had long been a plank in the platform of the ruling National Party. However, it was not until 1960, 12 years after it took power, that it was able to hold a referendum on the issue. A narrow majority—52 percent— of the minority white electorate voted in favour of abolishing the monarchy and declaring South Africa a republic.

The Republic of South Africa was proclaimed on 21 May 1961. Charles Robberts Swart, the last Governor-General, was sworn in as the first State President. The title 'State President' was originally used for the head of state of the Boer Republics, and like them, the holder of the office wore a sash with the Republic's coat of arms. He was elected to a seven-year term by the Parliament of South Africa, and was not eligible for re-election.

The National Party decided against having an executive presidency, instead adopting a minimalist approach as a conciliatory gesture to English-speaking whites who were opposed to a republic. As such, the State President performed mostly ceremonial duties, and was bound by convention to act on the advice of the Prime Minister and the cabinet.

In practice, the post of State President was a sinecure for retired National Party ministers, as the Governor-General's post had been since 1948. Consequently, all State Presidents from 1961 to 1984 were white, Afrikaner, male, and over 60.

Following constitutional reforms, in 1984, the office of State President became an executive post, as in the United States. The Prime Minister's post was abolished, and its powers were de facto merged with those of the State President. He was elected by an electoral college of 88 members—50 Whites, 25 Coloureds, and 13 Indians–from among the members of the Tricameral Parliament. The members of the electoral college were elected by the respective racial groups of the Tricameral Parliament—the white House of Assembly, Coloured House of Representatives and Indian House of Delegates. He held office for the Parliament's duration—in practice, five years. The last Prime Minister, P. W. Botha, was elected as the first executive State President.

The State President was vested with sweeping executive powers—in most respects, even greater than those of comparative offices like the President of the United States. He had sole jurisdiction over matters of "national" concern, such as foreign policy and race relations. He was chairman of the President's Council, which resolved disputes between the three chambers regarding "general affairs" legislation. This body consisted of 60 members – 20 members appointed by the House of Assembly, 10 by the House of Representatives, five by the House of Delegates and 25 directly by the State President.

Although the reforms were billed as a power-sharing arrangement, the composition of the electoral college and President's Council made it all but impossible for the white chamber to be outvoted on any substantive matter. Thus, the real power remained in white hands—and in practice, in the hands of the National Party, which had a large majority in the white chamber. As Botha was leader of the National Party, the system placed nearly all governing power in his hands.

Botha resigned in 1989 and was succeeded by F. W. de Klerk, who oversaw the transition to majority rule in 1994.

Under South Africa's first non-racial constitution, adopted in 1994, the head of state (and of government) is known simply as the President. However, since the declaration of the republic in 1961, most non-South African sources had referred to the State President as simply the "President". The leader of the African National Congress, Nelson Mandela, was sworn in as President on 10 May 1994.

Political parties
Symbols
  • Denotes Acting President
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party Elected
Took office Left office Time in office
State presidents as head of state (Ceremonial, 1961–1984)
1 Charles Robberts Swart
(1894–1982)
31 May 1961 31 May 1967 6 years National Party 1961
Theophilus Ebenhaezer Dönges
(1898–1968)
Elected but did not take office because of illness National Party 1967
Jozua François Naudé
(1889–1969)
Acting
1 June 1967 10 April 1968 314 days National Party
2 Jacobus Johannes Fouché
(1898–1980)
10 April 1968 9 April 1975 6 years, 364 days National Party 1968
Johannes de Klerk
(1903–1979)
Acting
9 April 1975 19 April 1975 10 days National Party
3 Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs
(1903–1978)
19 April 1975 21 August 1978
(Died in office)
3 years, 124 days National Party 1975
Marais Viljoen
(1915–2007)
Acting
21 August 1978 10 October 1978 50 days National Party
4 Balthazar Johannes Vorster
(1915–1983)
10 October 1978 4 June 1979
(Resigned)
237 days National Party 1978
5 Marais Viljoen
(1915–2007)
4 June 1979 19 June 1979 15 days National Party
19 June 1979 3 September 1984 5 years, 91 days 1979
State presidents as head of state and government (Executive, 1984–1994)
1 Pieter Willem Botha
(1916–2006)
3 September 1984 14 September 1984 11 days National Party
14 September 1984 15 August 1989
(Resigned)
4 years, 335 days 1984
Jan Christiaan Heunis
(1927–2006)
Acting
19 January 1989 15 March 1989 27 days National Party
2 Frederik Willem de Klerk
(1936–2021)
15 August 1989 20 September 1989 36 days National Party
20 September 1989 10 May 1994 4 years, 232 days 1989
  1. Sketch of the Orange Free State of South Africa, Orange Free State. Commission at the International Exhibition, Philadelphia, 1876, pages 10-12
  2. The White Tribe of Africa, David Harrison, University of California Press, 1983, page 161
  3. South Africa: A War Won, TIME, June 9, 1961
  4. John Vorster, former South African Prime Minister, Dies At 67, New York Times, 11 September 1983
Wikimedia Commons has media related toState Presidents of South Africa.

State President of South Africa
State President of South Africa Article Talk Language Watch Edit This article is about the position of South African head of state from 1961 to 1994 For the position of South African head of state and head of government from 1994 see President of South Africa The state president of the Republic of South Africa Afrikaans Staatspresident was the head of state of South Africa from 1961 to 1994 The office was established when the country became a republic in 1961 and Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be monarch of South Africa The position of Governor General of South Africa was accordingly abolished From 1961 to 1984 the post was largely ceremonial After constitutional reforms enacted in 1983 and taking effect in 1984 the State President became an executive post and its holder was both head of state and head of government State President of South AfricaStaatspresident van Suid AfrikaStandard of the State President 1984 1994 Longest serving Jim Fouche 10 April 1968 9 April 1975StyleThe Honourable until 1985 AbbreviationSPResidenceTuynhuysAppointerParliament of South AfricaTerm lengthSeven years nonrenewable until 1984 Duration of Parliament normally five years 1984 94 PrecursorMonarch of South AfricaFormation31 May 1961 ceremonial 3 September 1984 executive First holderCharles Robberts SwartFinal holderFrederik Willem de KlerkAbolished10 May 1994SuccessionPresident of South AfricaDeputyVice State President of South Africa 1981 1984 The Standard of the South African State President from 1961 to 1984 The office was abolished in 1994 with the end of Apartheid and the transition to democratic majority rule Since then the head of state and head of government is known simply as the President of South Africa Contents 1 Ceremonial post 2 Executive post 3 End of white minority rule 4 List of state presidents of South Africa 5 Timeline 6 See also 7 References 8 External linksCeremonial post Edit De Tuynhuys used as the office of the State President Republicanism had long been a plank in the platform of the ruling National Party However it was not until 1960 12 years after it took power that it was able to hold a referendum on the issue A narrow majority 52 percent of the minority white electorate voted in favour of abolishing the monarchy and declaring South Africa a republic The Republic of South Africa was proclaimed on 21 May 1961 Charles Robberts Swart the last Governor General was sworn in as the first State President The title State President was originally used for the head of state of the Boer Republics 1 and like them the holder of the office wore a sash with the Republic s coat of arms He was elected to a seven year term by the Parliament of South Africa and was not eligible for re election The National Party decided against having an executive presidency instead adopting a minimalist approach as a conciliatory gesture to English speaking whites who were opposed to a republic 2 As such the State President performed mostly ceremonial duties and was bound by convention to act on the advice of the Prime Minister and the cabinet In practice the post of State President was a sinecure for retired National Party ministers as the Governor General s post had been since 1948 Consequently all State Presidents from 1961 to 1984 were white Afrikaner male and over 60 Executive post EditFollowing constitutional reforms in 1984 the office of State President became an executive post as in the United States The Prime Minister s post was abolished and its powers were de facto merged with those of the State President He was elected by an electoral college of 88 members 50 Whites 25 Coloureds and 13 Indians from among the members of the Tricameral Parliament The members of the electoral college were elected by the respective racial groups of the Tricameral Parliament the white House of Assembly Coloured House of Representatives and Indian House of Delegates He held office for the Parliament s duration in practice five years The last Prime Minister P W Botha was elected as the first executive State President The State President was vested with sweeping executive powers in most respects even greater than those of comparative offices like the President of the United States He had sole jurisdiction over matters of national concern such as foreign policy and race relations He was chairman of the President s Council which resolved disputes between the three chambers regarding general affairs legislation This body consisted of 60 members 20 members appointed by the House of Assembly 10 by the House of Representatives five by the House of Delegates and 25 directly by the State President Although the reforms were billed as a power sharing arrangement the composition of the electoral college and President s Council made it all but impossible for the white chamber to be outvoted on any substantive matter Thus the real power remained in white hands and in practice in the hands of the National Party which had a large majority in the white chamber As Botha was leader of the National Party the system placed nearly all governing power in his hands Botha resigned in 1989 and was succeeded by F W de Klerk who oversaw the transition to majority rule in 1994 End of white minority rule EditUnder South Africa s first non racial constitution adopted in 1994 the head of state and of government is known simply as the President However since the declaration of the republic in 1961 most non South African sources had referred to the State President as simply the President 3 4 The leader of the African National Congress Nelson Mandela was sworn in as President on 10 May 1994 List of state presidents of South Africa EditPolitical parties National PartySymbols Denotes Acting PresidentNo Portrait Name Birth Death Term of office Political party ElectedTook office Left office Time in officeState presidents as head of state Ceremonial 1961 1984 1 Charles Robberts Swart 1894 1982 31 May 1961 31 May 1967 6 years National Party 1961 Theophilus Ebenhaezer Donges 1898 1968 Elected but did not take office because of illness National Party 1967 Jozua Francois Naude 1889 1969 Acting 1 June 1967 10 April 1968 314 days National Party 2 Jacobus Johannes Fouche 1898 1980 10 April 1968 9 April 1975 6 years 364 days National Party 1968 Johannes de Klerk 1903 1979 Acting 9 April 1975 19 April 1975 10 days National Party 3 Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs 1903 1978 19 April 1975 21 August 1978 Died in office 3 years 124 days National Party 1975 Marais Viljoen 1915 2007 Acting 21 August 1978 10 October 1978 50 days National Party 4 Balthazar Johannes Vorster 1915 1983 10 October 1978 4 June 1979 Resigned 237 days National Party 19785 Marais Viljoen 1915 2007 4 June 1979 19 June 1979 15 days National Party 19 June 1979 3 September 1984 5 years 91 days 1979State presidents as head of state and government Executive 1984 1994 1 Pieter Willem Botha 1916 2006 3 September 1984 14 September 1984 11 days National Party 14 September 1984 15 August 1989 Resigned 4 years 335 days 1984 Jan Christiaan Heunis 1927 2006 Acting 19 January 1989 15 March 1989 27 days National Party 2 Frederik Willem de Klerk 1936 2021 15 August 1989 20 September 1989 36 days National Party 20 September 1989 10 May 1994 4 years 232 days 1989Timeline EditSee also EditState President of the South African Republic State President of the Orange Free State Governor General of the Union of South Africa President of South Africa Prime Minister of South Africa Vice State President of South AfricaReferences Edit Sketch of the Orange Free State of South Africa Orange Free State Commission at the International Exhibition Philadelphia 1876 pages 10 12 The White Tribe of Africa David Harrison University of California Press 1983 page 161 South Africa A War Won TIME June 9 1961 John Vorster former South African Prime Minister Dies At 67 New York Times 11 September 1983External links EditWikimedia Commons has media related to State Presidents of South Africa List of Presidents Lists of Heads of state with links to bios Retrieved from https en wikipedia org w index php title State President of South Africa amp oldid 1055502732, wikipedia, wiki, book,

books

, library,

article

, read, download, free, free download, mp3, video, mp4, 3gp, jpg, jpeg, gif, png, picture, music, song, movie, book, game, games.