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Last updated : Nov 2009
South Africa Government
South Africa Government - TravelPuppy.com
South Africa is Republic and gained independance from the United Kingdom in 1910

The Head of State and Government has been President Thabo Mvuyelwa Mbeki since 1999.

Under the terms of the new Constitution, which was assumed on 8 May 1996 and entered into force on 4 February 1997, legislative power is vested in a bicameral Parliament, consisting of a National Assembly and a National Council of Provinces (formerly the Senate).

The National Assembly is elected by universal adult suffrage under a system of relative representation and has from 350 to 400 members. The 90 member National Council of Provinces comprises 6 permanent delegates and 4 special delegates from each of the provincial legislatures. The President, who is elected by the National Assembly from among its members, uses executive power in discussion with the other members of the Cabinet.

South Africa has held 3 successful national elections as well as local polls since the 1st genuinely comprehensive national election in South Africa, which was held in February 1994. Thabo Mbeki was elected by Parliament to a 2nd 5 year term in April 2004, following the landslide general election victory of his ruling African National Congress (ANC). Mr Mbeki took over as President after Nelson Mandela stepped down in mid 1999. Mbeki’s administration is under pressure, with 2 major domestic problems, a huge violent crime wave and an HIV - AIDS pandemic, which afflicts over 10 % of the adult population. Mbeki’s persistent refusal to come to terms with the true nature of the HIV virus has drawn huge international criticism as well as being the subject of furious arguments between Mbeki and Mandela.
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