It was the year which kept on giving for journalists.
The cycle picked up where it left off following President Cyril Ramaphosa’s election as ANC president in December 2017 and subsequent usurping of President Jacob Zuma on February 14.
Ramaphosa’s “new dawn” speech on February 16 – in which he simultaneously praised and eviscerated Zuma – set the tone in terms of long-awaited promises taking time to materialise.
Hopes of a Cabinet reduction, criminal charges against malfeasant politicians, a turnabout in the financial climes and a reduction in huge unemployment numbers soured against the realisation that Ramaphosa only had a slight majority in the ANC national executive committee, which severely curtailed his ability to bring about instant change.
Forced to do it by the High Court in Pretoria, Zuma had signed into effect a commission of inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in January.
An outcry ensued when it emerged Zuma had constituted the inquiry under regulation 8(2), which stated no evidence brought before the commission could be used in criminal proceedings.
This was amended in March by Ramaphosa.
Zuma has yet to testify, electing instead to make his case for innocence on social media. Time will tell how his strategy pans out.
Former South African Revenue Service (Sars) commissioner Tom Moyane’s obfuscation and silence saw his employment terminated and his character publicly criticised by retired judge Robert Nugent. He is trying to fight back in the Constitutional Court.
The appointment of Advocate Shamila Batohi as head of the National Prosecuting Authority was widely welcomed following public interviews. Many were hoping the appointment of a permanent Sars commissioner would also be done publicly, but this has now been ruled out.
The year has also seen a born-again parliament and some government spokespeople being more available for comment outside of the standard-issue government blah.
And a number of The Citizen’s analysts have brought a fresh take on current events throughout the year.
There’s more to come in 2019 when The Citizen will be bringing you the freshest take on news, entertainment and sport. – firstname.lastname@example.org