State of the Nation Address 2013
The President is elected by the National Assembly and leads Cabinet as the Head of State. The President must uphold, defend and respect the Constitution as the supreme law of the Republic, and promote the unity of the nation.
Mr Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was elected President of the Republic of South Africa on 6 May 2009, and was inaugurated at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 May 2009.
President Zuma was born in Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal. He joined the African National Congress (ANC) in 1958 and became an active member of the ANC’s armed wing, Umkhonto we Sizwe. He was arrested in 1963 and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Robben Island. He held various positions in the ANC after his release and was elected Deputy Secretary General in 1991. He was the KwaZulu-Natal Member of the Executive Council of Economic Affairs and Tourism from 1994. He was elected Deputy President of the ANC in 1997, and served as the Executive Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa from June 1999 to June 2005. He was elected President of the ANC in 2007.
The Deputy President is appointed by the President from among members of the National Assembly and assists the President in executing government functions. The Deputy President is the Leader of Government business in the National Assembly.
Mr Kgalema Petrus Motlanthe was sworn in as Deputy President of the Republic of South Africa on 11 May 2009.
Deputy President Motlanthe was born in Alexandra, Gauteng. He joined Umkhonto we Sizwe and was arrested in 1976 for his activities, and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment on Robben Island. He became an active trade unionist after his release as a member of the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) and was elected General Secretary of NUM in 1992. He was Secretary General of the ANC from 1997 to 2007, and became Deputy President of the ANC in December 2007. During 2008, he served as Minister in The Presidency and as the President of the country from September 2008 to 8 May 2009.