The leader of the ANC, Jacob Zuma, was officially chosen as the country's president by the newly-elected parliament in May 2009.
Born to a Zulu family in 1942, Mr Zuma has spent his entire adult life since 1959 in the service of the ANC. He joined its armed wing Umkhonto we Sizwe in 1962 and was arrested the following year. He spent ten years in prison for conspiracy to overthrow the apartheid-era government.
After his release he left South Africa and was a leading figure in the ANC abroad until he returned home in 1990 to take part in the talks that brought apartheid to an end.
Mr Zuma was prominent in promoting the ANC among Zulus who had voted for the Inkatha Freedom Party in the first free elections in 1994, and was consistently elected to senior ANC posts. In 1999, he became the deputy president of South Africa under President Thabo Mbeki.
Mr Zuma's standing in the country fell rapidly after he was named in a corruption case related to a controversial arms deal, and President Mbeki dismissed him from the deputy presidency in 2005. Prosecutors then brought corruption charges against him, and shortly afterwards he was charged with rape.
He was acquitted of the rape charge the following year, and his support on the populist left of the party ensured that he was able to defeat President Mbeki in elections for the ANC leadership in December 2007.
Mr Zuma looked set to become president of South Africa after the 2009 parliamentary elections, but the corruption allegations persisted. It was not until April 2009 - weeks before the parliamentary polls - that state prosecutors finally threw out the charges on the grounds that there had been political interference.
The opposition said this was a technicality and that Mr Zuma ought to answer the charges in court. Nonetheless, he led the ANC to a convincing election victory and was duly inaugurated on 9 May.
In November 2011, a man seen as a potential serious challenger for Mr Zuma's post, the firebrand ANC youth leader Julius Malema, was suspended from the governing party. He remains a thorn in Mr Zuma's side, however, and called for him to resign over the Marikana mine shooting incident in August 2012.
In December 2012 Mr Zuma was was re-elected as ANC leader with an overwhelming majority.
The ANC is in a formal alliance with the South African Communist Party and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), known as the Tripartite Alliance. Neither the Communist Party nor COSATU contest elections, but call on supporters to vote for the ANC. Several members of post-Apartheid governments have been members of the Communist Party, including Mr Zuma.
- Administrative divisions: This entry generally gives the numbers, designatory terms, and first-order administrative divisions as approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (BGN). Changes that have been reported but not yet acted on by BGN are noted.
- Capital city > Geographic coordinates: This entry gives the name of the seat of government, its geographic coordinates, the time difference relative to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) and the time observed in Washington, DC, and, if applicable, information on daylight saving time (DST). Where appropriate, a special note has been added to highlight those countries that have multiple time zones.
- Constitution: The dates of adoption, revisions, and major amendments to a nation's constitution
- Diplomatic representation from the US > Mailing address: This entry includes the chief of mission, embassy address, mailing address, telephone number, FAX number, branch office locations, consulate general locations, and consulate locations.
- Executive branch > Cabinet: Cabinet includes the official name for any body of high-ranking advisers roughly comparable to a U.S. Cabinet. Also notes the method for selection of members.
- Executive branch > Elections: Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election
- Government type: A description of the basic form of government (e.g., republic, constitutional monarchy, federal republic, parliamentary democracy, military dictatorship).
- Independence: For most countries, this entry gives the date that sovereignty was achieved and from which nation, empire, or trusteeship. For the other countries, the date given may not represent "independence" in the strict sense, but rather some significant nationhood event such as the traditional founding date or the date of unification, federation, confederation, establishment, fundamental change in the form of government, or state succession. Dependent areas include the notation "none" followed by the nature of their dependency status. "
- International organization participation: This entry lists in alphabetical order by abbreviation those international organizations in which the subject country is a member or participates in some other way.
- Judicial branch: The name(s) of the highest court(s) and a brief description of the selection process for members.
- Legal system: A brief description of the legal system's historical roots, role in government, and acceptance of International Court of Justice (ICJ) jurisdiction.
- Legislative branch: This entry contains information on the structure (unicameral, bicameral, tricameral), formal name, number of seats, and term of office. Elections includes the nature of election process or accession to power, date of the last election, and date of the next election. Election results includes the percent of vote and/or number of seats held by each party in the last election.
- Political parties and leaders: Significant political organizations and their leaders.
- Political pressure groups and leaders: Organizations with leaders involved in politics, but not standing for legislative election.
- Suffrage: The age at enfranchisement and whether the right to vote is universal or restricted
"South Africa Government Stats", NationMaster. Retrieved from http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government
"South Africa Government Stats, NationMaster." 1945-2014. <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government>.
'South Africa Government Stats, NationMaster', <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government> [assessed 1945-2014]
"South Africa Government Stats", NationMaster [Internet]. 1945-2014. Avaliable from: <http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government>.
"South Africa Government Stats", NationMaster. Avaliable at: nationmaster.com. Assessed 1945-2014.
"South Africa Government Stats, NationMaster," http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government (assessed 1945-2014)
"South Africa Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government (last visited 1945-2014)
"South Africa Government Stats", NationMaster, http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/profiles/South-Africa/Government (as of 1945-2014)