South African Prime Ministers from the NP (equivalent to the position of President today):

Following constitutional reforms in 1984, the office of State President became an executive post, as in the United States, and the office of Prime Minister of South Africa was abolished (see State President below). P. W. Botha became the new State President, until his resignation in 1989, when he was replaced 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) was known simply as the President.

South African State Presidents from the NP

From 1961 to 1994, South Africa's head of state was called the State President (ceremonial) or Staatspresident in Afrikaans. The office was established when the country became a republic in 1961, and Queen Elizabeth II ceased to be head of state. The position of Governor-General of the Union of South Africa was accordingly abolished. When the position of Prime Minister was abolished it was replaced with the executive title of State President.


  • Charles Robberts Swart (1961-1967)
  • T.E. Donges 1967 (Elected, but never inaugurated due to ill-health)
  • Jozua François Naudé (acting) (1967-1968
  • Jacobus Johannes Fouche (1968-1975)
  • Nicolaas Johannes Diederichs (1975-1978)
  • Marais Viljoen (acting) 1978
  • Balthazar Johannes Vorster (1978-1979)
  • Marais Viljoen (1979-1984)


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