Sun Dec 04 14:19:08 SAST 2016

10 moments that define 2016 - by South Africans' popular vote

Julia Madibogo | 2016-11-28 16:35:31.0
Pupils from various schools demonstrate outside Pretoria High School for Girls recently in protest at the school’s ‘racist’ rules on hair styles.
Image by: GALLO IMAGES

With just a month and a few days to go before the end of the year‚ social media users have started reviewing some of the greatest moments that played out this year. From the local government elections‚ to black hair in schools saga and countrywide student protests‚ here is a countdown of ten epic moments that highlighted 2016 through the eyes of social media.

1) Pretoria Girls hair saga

Brave young girls from Pretoria High school for girls stood together against what they called prolonged racism at the school.

The students protested at their school‚ challenging management and the Gauteng Education MEC Panyasa Lesufi to deal with various allegations including teachers calling out pupils to neaten their black hair and to speak in English during private conversations.

2) Fees Must Fall protests

Universities around the country came to a shutdown on various occasions when students went on a countrywide call for free higher education.

Violence broke out at a number of varsities and a number of student leaders including Mcebo Dlamini and Naledi Chirwa were arrested.

3) Tshwane protests over mayor candidate Thoko Didiza

When the ANC announced that its mayoral candidate for the local government elections was Thoko Didiza‚ residents of Tshwane vowed to shut down the whole city.

Violence broke out‚ and the ANC ended up losing the municipality.

4) Wayne Van Niekerk breaks world record

The 2016 Rio Olympics was not only a successful year for South African athletes but also historic as runner Wayne van Niekerk set a new men's 400m world record of 43.03 seconds‚ 0.15 quicker than the time Michael Johnson clocked in Seville in 1999.

5) State of Capture report

Former public protector Thuli Madodensela released a can of worms when she published her State of Capture report on the preliminary investigation into how the politically connected Gupta family allegedly attempted to influence crucial decisions at some state owned entities.

6) Zuma pays back the money

President Jacob Zuma finally paid over R7‚8 million towards repayment of upgrades made at his private Nkandla home.

7) New generation pastors

Religion was also brought into the spotlight with the emergence of 'new generation pastors'.

These pastors made headlines after it emerged that they fed their congregants snakes‚ grass and recently used Doom pesticide to heal them.

8) Joburg Flash Floods

Flash floods wrecked havoc in and around Johannesburg‚ causing heart-rending loss of life and dramatic imagery of the airport under water and ordinary people helping each other.

9) Nationwide droughts

Following severe weather conditions the previous year‚ parts of the country were hit by droughts which affected dam levels leading to water shortages.

10) Local Government Elections

This year's local government elections marked a historic event.

For the first time this year‚ the ANC lost three metros to coalitions led by the Democratic Alliance.

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