South Africa 29.12.2014 03:01 pm

10 top news stories of 2014

FILE PICTURE: Oscar Pistorius sits inside a police nyala on route to Kgosi Manpuru prison following his sentencing, 21 Otbober 2014, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria CBD. Picture: Alaister Russell

FILE PICTURE: Oscar Pistorius sits inside a police nyala on route to Kgosi Manpuru prison following his sentencing, 21 Otbober 2014, at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria CBD. Picture: Alaister Russell

2014 has been a year full of surprises in South Africa. We take a look at 10 of the top stories that shook the country.

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Senzo Meyiwa’s death

On October 26th, South Africa awoke to the tragic news of the death of Bafana Bafana and Orlando Pirates captain Senzo Meyiwa.

He was shot during an alleged robbery at his girlfriend Kelly Khumalo’s house in Vosloorus.

The only man arrested in connection to Meyiwa’s death, Zanokuhle Mbatha, was released after magistrate Daniel Thulare of the Boksburg Magistrates’ court found that there was not enough evidence for him to stand trial. The investigations continue.

Watch the emotional relatives of Mbatha after their son  was released. 


Read more: Insufficient evidence in Meyiwa case – NPA 


 

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Oscar Pistorius murder trial and sentencing

FILE PICTURE: Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is seen  at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on the 6th day of his ongoing murder trial, Monday, 10 March 2014. The double amputee is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend of few months Reeva Steenkamp at his home in the early hours of Valentines Day last year. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/Pool

FILE PICTURE: Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is seen at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu/Pool

This one doesn’t need much explaining because the whole world was watching. There was even a television channel dedicated to to the Oscar Pistorius trial.

This comes after the Blade Runner shot and killed his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14, 2013. He claimed he mistook her for an intruder.

Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to 5 years’ imprisonment for culpable homicide and a further three-year term (suspended for five years) for firing a gun in public.


Read more: Oscar Pistorius sent to jail for 5 years (gallery)


 

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Nigeria SCOAN church building collapse

The story of the Nigerian building collapse was arguably one of the most talked about events of 2014.

A building linked to Nigerian pastor TB Joshua collapsed, killing 116 people, 85 of which were South African. To this day, some of the bodies have yet to be repatriated.

Be warned the videos contain graphic images 

A view of the collapse from a different angle

The incident triggered debates on matters of faith, with some referring to TB Joshua as a false prophet, while others referred to him as a true man of God.

@Loyd_Robinson tweeted:

While @IspeakWisdomBro tweeted:

https://twitter.com/IspeakWisdomBro/status/544783543348789248

Bisi Adedire, a town planner who worked for the pastor, recently told an inquest the building did not have planning approval.


Read more: TB Joshua’s church building ‘had no permit’


 

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The Shrien Dewani murder trial

FILE PICTURE: Shrien Dewani. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

FILE PICTURE: Shrien Dewani. Picture: Nardus Engelbrecht/SAPA/Pool

After years of legal wrangling, British businessman Shrien Dewani finally saw the inside of a South African court room.

He was accused of killing his wife, Anni, while on honeymoon in South Africa in 2010.

However, Dewani was acquitted after Western Cape High Court Deputy Judge President Jeanette Traverso found “there is no evidence on which a reasonable man can convict the accused”.


Read more: Shrien Dewani walks free


 

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Ellen Tshabalala resigns

Elle tshabalala Cartoon

Former SABC chairperson Ellen Tshabalala stuck to her guns after allegations of her falsifying her academic qualifications came to light.

At first, she claimed to have completed a BCom degree and a Labour Relations diploma at the University of South Africa (Unisa).

Not even a Parliamentary committee could get Tshabalala to own up after Unisa insisted that it had no record of her supposed degrees.

After months of continued pressure from the media, Parliament and political parties, Tshabalala eventually resigned.


Read more: SABC board chairperson resigns


 

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Generations cast fired

The cast of Generations. Image courtesy of Facebook.com/GenerationsTVShow

The cast of Generations. Image courtesy of Facebook.com/GenerationsTVShow

MMSV Productions announced that the contracts of 16 Generations actors (some pictured above) were terminated on August 18, 2014.

This came as a shock to the South African viewers of the dearly loved show.

Mfundi Vundla, the creator of the show, expressed disappointment at the actors who were fired and said he felt betrayed.

Watch Mvundla venting during a media briefing: 

The show stopped broadcasting for two months and restarted broadcasting on the December 1st with the new name, Generations: The Legacy.


Read more: Striking Generations cast fired


 

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Numsa expelled from Cosatu

Numsa’s expulsion from Cosatu was described by some as the fall of the tripartite alliance.

The expulsion caused quite a bit of public outrage, with Dali Mpofu tweeting he never thought Cosatu “would die in the hands of a nursing sister”.

Numsa has since moved on to launch the United Front, a movement which was lately joined by former intelligence minister Ronnie Kasrils.


Read more: Numsa expelled from Cosatu

Ronnie Kasrils UF appointment a ‘sign of things to come’


 

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Steve Hofmeyr and his tweets

Things got intense when Steve Hofmeyr tweeted “blacks were the architects of apartheid”.

The tweet caused a stir on social media. The puppet handler of political commentator Chester Missing, Conrad Koch, was among those who took to Twitter to rebuke Hofmeyr for his controversial tweets.

Unable to stand the heat, Hofmeyr took to court, where he secured a court order against Koch in November, which meant that Koch was not allowed to mention Hofmeyr, his sponsors or his business partners directly or indirectly.

However, Koch was able to win on appeal, and magistrate Naren Sewnarain said Hofmeyr exposed himself to criticism, satire and ridicule, and he agreed with Koch’s defence that Koch had the right to campaign against Hofmeyr’s remarks.

Watch a video of Chester Missing being “klapped” by Hofmeyr’s representative and activist Dan Roodt:

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EFF’s first elective conference

EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, chief whip Floyd Shivambu and party leader Julius Malema sing revolutionary songs at the national people's assembly at UFS campus in Bloemfontein. Picture: Gertrude Makhafola

FILE PICTURE: EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, chief whip Floyd Shivambu and party leader Julius Malema sing revolutionary songs at the national people’s assembly at UFS campus in Bloemfontein. Picture: Gertrude Makhafola

The Economic Freedom Fighters held their first elective conference at the University of Free State campus in December 2014.

As usual, the party pushed for their controversial policies of land expropriation and nationalisation of mines without compensation.

The party went as far as calling on its members to occupy “free” land across South Africa.

However, AfriForum laid criminal charges against EFF leader Julius Malema for this call.


Read more: AfriForum lays charges against Julius Malema


 

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Pierre Korkie Murder

The death of Pierre Korkie, who was held hodstage in Yemen, came after a failed operation by the American Special Forces, which was aimed at freeing hostages in Yemen.

According to the Gift of the Givers Foundation, Korkie’s death comes on the eve of his expected release.

 

Read more: Read more: Yolande Korkie salutes Pierre’s allies 

 

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