Policy in South Africa
The Political in South Africa incrit since 1910 around the 3 capacities defined by the successive constitutions.
Executive powerSince 1984, the president is at the same time the Head of the State and the chief of the government. The ministers are appointed by the president.
The president is elected by the Parliament. He is generally the chief of the majority party.
Before 1984, the post of head of government was held by a Prime Minister whereas the function of Head of the State was purely honorary and rose from that formerly reserved for the Governor-general of South Africa.
- 1919 - 1924: Jan Smuts
- 1924 - 1939: James Barry Hertzog
- 1939 - 1948: Jan Smuts
- 1948 - 1954: Daniel Malan
- 1954 - 1958: JG Strijdom
- 1958 - 1966: Hendrik Verwoerd
- 1966 - 1978: John Vorster
- 1978 - 1984: Pieter Botha
The function was removed in 1984 during the introduction of the Parlement tricaméral.
Presidents of the republicThe function was created in 1961 at the time D ela foundation of the Republic of South Africa. The presidential function replaced that which was reserved since 1910 for the Governor-general of South Africa.
- 1967 - 1967: Theophilus Donges
- 1967 - 1968: Jozua François Naudé
- 1968 - 1975: Jacobus Johannes Fouché
- 1975 - 1978: Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs
- 1978 - 1979: John Vorster
- 1979 - 1984: Marsh Viljoen
- 1984 - 1989: Pieter Botha
- 1989 - 1994: Frederik De Klerk
- 1994 - 1999: Nelson Mandela
- 1999 -->: Thabo Mbeki (re-elected in 2004)
Legislative powerThe Parliament of South Africa is composed of the National Assembly (400 seats; the members are elected by a popular vote for five years) and of the National council of the Provinces (90 seats, 10 members elected for each of the 9 provinces for some five years mandates). The half of the members of the National Assembly are selected on the national lists of the parties, other half on the lists of the parties of the provinces.
Judicial powerJustice is independent of the government.
Before 1994, the legal system was copied on the British system and was dominated by the Supreme Court, qualified in common Droit only.
In 1994, it was decided to build a very new constitutional court, composed of 11 judges, origins university or resulting from the Bar, allowing any person, having an interest to act, to be able to seize it for purposes of cancellation of a legislative measure either by the way of action or by that of exception. It rules at the bottom and in last spring.
The prééminance of the Constitutional court is marked by the need for obtaining its share the confirmation of any decision of a lower jurisdiction invalidating a legal text to give executory force to the insconstitutionnality of this one.
The Constitutional court can still exert a power of injunction in order to ensure that its decisions or the recognized rights are the subject of a law or to make decisions of principle. It was the case for the Capital punishment in 1995 when it cancelled the texts of the penal procedure of 1977. In 2001, in a business implying a Tanzanian transferred by South Africa to the the United States where it was continued for Terrorisme, it was moulted as an international judge when it affirmed the prohibition of the capital punishment as regards crimes concerned with acts of international Terrorisme. In July 2005, it will use of its capacity of injunction to impose on the South-African government the constitutional respect of the " right to the soins" for the victims of the AIDS. In 2006, the Homosexual marriage is adopted by the Parliament only following one injunction of the constitutional court following its invalidation of the law on the Mariage going back to 1961.
The Court will also recognize the rights of usual origin to the local populations to impose the ground restitution belonging at the South-African state coming on the right of the British Crown.
From its very broad competence, the constitutional court of South Africa constitutes a countervailing power which can put at the load of the South-African state of true obligations to make that the latter must respect.
Political partiesSouth Africa is a multi-party Démocratie since its foundation in 1910 although the political system was segregationist and uneven until the years 1991 - 1994.
The first multiracial general elections took place only in 1994. Since this date, the political life of the country is dominated by ANC (70% of the votes to the last general elections).
The old dominant party, the national left, which had instituted the Apartheid and had dominated the political life of the country between 1948 and 1994, disappeared from the political scene after its fusion with the ANC in 2005.
The official opposition is the democratic Alliance (12% of the voices), heiress at the same time of the old parties parliamentary progessists and the liberal and preserving faction of the national party.
The identity Extreme-right-hand side (1%), the side-African Extreme-left (1%) and some ethnic parties (7%) or Christian-Democrats supplement the political scene.
The floor-crossingThe floor-croissing is an annual practice which allows the Député S and the city council men to change political party without losing their seat. It consists in for a deputy changing political label.
Instituted in 2001 to allow to the members New national party to leave democratic Alliance in order to join the ANC in the management of the local executives, it was generalized at the national level and was renewed annually.
This practice is however denounced each year by many South-Africans who consider qu `it violates the rights of the voters. Like each year, it is the African National congress which leaves victorious the annual season of the changes D `label. Thus, in 2007, the ANC gained four additional seats with L `National Assembly, the Upper House of the South-African Parliament, making disappear from the national representation two parties minority, which counted one and two representatives respectively. It also rejoined 53 city council men out of the 250 who changed D `label in all the country allowing him to take the control of some Municipalité S local.
In 2007, the ANC holds from now on 297 of the 400 seats of L `Assemblée (accounting for 74,25% of the deputies).
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