Highlights and low blows of the year that was

Former president Jacob Zuma's latest fiancée Nonkanyiso Conco, gave birth to his youngest child in April. Conco's father now claims Zuma broke his promise to pay lobolo for her.
Former president Jacob Zuma's latest fiancée Nonkanyiso Conco, gave birth to his youngest child in April. Conco's father now claims Zuma broke his promise to pay lobolo for her.

1 Zuma's exit.

After years of civil organisations and key ANC figures calling for his head, former president Jacob Zuma's exit on Valentine's Day was dramatic. He dug in his heels after being recalled by the NEC and told the nation through a TV interview he was going nowhere before he finally resigned.

2 State capture inquiry.

From August, the state capture inquiry heard evidence from witnesses who placed Zuma at the heart of state capture. These included current and former ministers Pravin Gordhan, Nhlanhla Nene, Ngwako Ramatlhodi, Barbara Hogan and other ANC stalwarts. The commission resumes in January.

3 Gigaba sex tape.

The disgraced former home affairs minister resigned after a video of him pleasuring himself went viral. The story turned him into a social media clown.

4 Nene, Supra and Manana walk.

Former finance minister Nhlanhla Nene resigned after disclosing that he lied about meeting the Guptas. In North West, former premier Supra Mahumapelo stepped down after communities revolted against him, while controversial former deputy minister Mduduzi Manana quit as an MP, before he could appear before the ANC's integrity commission.

5 VBS scandal unravels.

Called the great bank heist, the scandal that started last year and saw R1.8bn looted from the poor unravelled as prominent personalities from the ANC and EFF were implicated in dubious loans and payments.

6 SABC/PSL blackout wars.

This year was characterised by the never-ending television rights war between the SABC and Safa regarding the broadcasting of matches involving the PSL and our national teams.

Malusi Gigaba
Malusi Gigaba

7 #TotalShutDown marches.

To mark Women's Month, #TotalShutDown marches highlighted high rates of violence against women and children. Bizarrely, some organisers were charged with public violence, but the case was later dropped.

8 Vicki Momberg goes down.

Racist Vicki Momberg was sentenced to three years in prison for crimen injuria with one year suspended for a racist tirade that happened in 2016. Momberg was recently granted leave to appeal her sentence. She is on R2000 bail.

9 Omotoso trial.

Nigerian pastor Tim Omotoso's trial, where he faces 63 charges including rape, human trafficking and sexual assault, began in October. The flamboyant pastor treated court like a runway as he paraded avant garde fashion while victim Cheryl Zondi was exalted as a national hero for her testimony.

10 Barcelona visit.

Courtesy of the Motsepe Foundation, local soccer lovers saw soccer wizard Lionel Messi and his team-
mates play against Sundowns to honour Mandela's centenary year. Barca beat our star-struck locals 3-1.

11 Obama's visit.

Still on Mandela's centenary, Motsepe dug deep in conjunction with the Nelson Mandela Foundation, inviting former US president Barack Obama to speak at Wanderers stadium for the annual Mandela lecture on the eve of the icon's birthday.

12 Soaring suicide rate.

Depression was highlighted as a challenging mental issue in black communities when personalities including musician HHP, UCT's cardiologist professor Bongani Manyosi and local actress Shoki Mokgapa committed suicide.

13 Zuma's new baby mama.

Msholozi added to his large brood when news broke that a 24-year-old had given birth to his latest child in April. Zuma's family said lobola was paid to Nonkanyiso Conco's family.

14 Winnie dies.

Struggle matriarch Winnie Madikizela-Mandela died on April 2 and her death exposed the propaganda by Stratcom in tarnishing her name.

15 Cyril appoints Shamila Batohi to head NPA.

After years plagued by allegations of political interference, and various heads leaving under a cloud, President Cyril Ramaphosa's appointment of Shamila Batohi to head the NPA was welcomed.

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