National

Two deputies unconstitutional, says presidency

Sapa

The presidency says reports claiming the possibility of two deputy presidents are incorrect, and such a move would be unconstitutional.

The presidency says media reports claiming the possibility of two deputy presidents are incorrect and would be unconstitutional. (Gallo)

South Africa can only have one deputy president in terms of the Constitution, the presidency said on Monday.

"The presidency wishes to correct a media report by Sunday Times newspaper quoting unnamed sources claiming the possibility of two deputy presidents of the republic," spokesperson Mac Maharaj said in a statement.

The Sunday Times reported discussions had been held within the ANC to promote the idea of a second deputy president.

ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa and ANC national chairperson Baleka Mbete were reportedly proposed as the two candidates.

Maharaj said section 91 of the Constitution provides for only one deputy president, who the president selects from the National Assembly.

"The Constitution therefore states unequivocally that the Republic of South Africa shall have one deputy president only."

Interim
Maharaj said the interim Constitution, which was valid from 1994 to 1996, had allowed for two deputy presidents under the government of national unity.

Under the interim Constitution, both Thabo Mbeki and FW de Klerk served as deputy presidents under former president Nelson Mandela. De Klerk was entitled to this position because he was the leader of the National Party, which received the second-largest number of votes.

The Constitution adopted in 1996 no longer allowed for this arrangement, Maharaj said. – Sapa

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