WATCH | Political stories that made headlines in 2018

These are just 5 political stories that made headlines in 2018.

19 December 2018 - 06:43 By Ntokozo Miya

SA was a hive of political activity this year with politicians dishing out drama and scandal almost daily.

From Jacob Zuma's exit to Patricia de Lille's new political party, these are just five political stories that made headlines in 2018.

Jacob Zuma resigns

Just six weeks into the year, Jacob Zuma stepped down as president of the country following failed negotiations between him and the ruling party.

In a bizarre tactic, Zuma had previously agreed to resign on condition that the ministers he had appointed would be allowed to remain in office.

When his demands were dismissed, he chose to resign instead of facing a possible recall.

Julius Malema asks for a signal

The death of struggle icon Winnie Madikizela-Mandela on April 2 shocked and saddened the country.

Among the mourners at her funeral was EFF leader Julius Malema, who was close to Madikizela-Mandela.

Malema gave a fiery tribute to the former first lady and asked that she give a "signal" on how to best deal with people who had treated her badly over the years.

He said: "Mama, those who sold you out to the regime are here. They are crying the loudest, more than all of us who cared for you."

Cyril Ramaphosa retains Bathabile Dlamini

Many South Africans found it hard to believe that minister of women in the presidency Bathabile Dlamini survived Ramaphosa's cabinet reshuffle in November.

To some people, this seemed a perfect opportunity to release Dlamini after she was found to have made a mess of things at Social Security Agency (Sassa) with her "reckless" handling of grants payments while she was social development minister.

The president later on radio station 702 praised Dlamini for "setting the bar high".

John Steenhuisen and the qualifications debacle

When it emerged that the DA's John Steenhuisen did not have a qualification beyond matric, many people began to wonder about his future as chief whip of the opposition party.

The DA is said to be considering making a degree a compulsory requirement for anyone who seeks to hold the position of chief whip. 

The suggestion makes things awkward for Steenhuisen and that didn't go unnoticed on social media.

Steenhuisen told parliament that despite his academic shortcomings, he has always been an "honest" and "diligent" servant of the people.

Patricia de Lille's new party

Former Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille named her new political party Good. 

She launched the organisation on December 1, a day after she officially resigned as mayor and DA member.

There were mixed reactions as some South Africans thought the move was a desperate attempt to hang on to power, while others thought that De Lille should be celebrated for her determination to serve the public.