And the top ten news­mak­ers are –

Zuma, Juju and the Dalai Llama among the ad­mired and ma­ligned mak­ing head­lines this year

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - 2011 - BIANCA CA­PA­ZO­RIO

JOUR­NAL­ISTS and ed­i­tors had more than enough to fill their pa­pers thanks to these 10 news­mak­ers of 2011.

Love him or hate him, em­bat­tled ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema landed on his fair share of front pages this year. In 2011 Malema de­manded the na­tion­al­i­sa­tion of mines, marched for eco­nomic free­dom ( and then re­laxed at a mul­ti­mil­lion-rand wed­ding in Mau­ri­tius) and in­sulted Botswana’s lead­er­ship. He also got him­self sus­pended from the ANC for five years.

But you can’t keep him down.

Ear­lier this month he was mock­ing the pres­i­dent with the Ja­cob Zuma “‘shower” hand ges­ture and just this week it emerged that there would be a cloth­ing line in­spired by Malema.

On the same day that Malema was march­ing for eco­nomic free­dom, the DA’S Lindiwe Mazibuko, a wo­man he re­fused to chal­lenge in an open de­bate in May, call­ing her a “tea girl”, was be­ing sworn in as the first black wo­man and the youngest MP to be elected leader of the op­po­si­tion in Par­lia­ment.

Mazibuko’s face was al­ready known to many South Africans, hav­ing fea­tured on the “girl power” DA posters cre­ated for the May elec­tions which also fea­tured DA leader He­len Zille and Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille.

Mazibuko’s cam­paign against Athol Trol­lip for her new po­si­tion was also one of the most pub­lic yet for the party.

Arch­bishop Emer­i­tus Des­mond Tutu’s 80th birth­day was al­ways go­ing to make head­lines.

But when his friend the Dalai Lama was de­nied en­try to SA, it caused an in­ter­na­tional me­dia frenzy.

And Tutu wasn’t his usual “Mr Nice Guy” self ei­ther, hit­ting out at the govern­ment: “I am warn­ing you, as I warned the Na­tion­al­ists, one day we will pray for the de­feat of the ANC govern­ment.”

The two friends did, how­ever, chat via video link-up dur­ing the birth­day cel­e­bra­tions, gig­gling and jok­ing like school­boys.

On April 5, SA lens­man An­ton Ham­merl was shot and killed in Libya. It was first be­lieved that he was be­ing de­tained by Libyan of­fi­cials and across the coun­try peo­ple joined the “Free An­ton Ham­merl” cam­paign.

It was only in May, when other jour­nal­ists who had been de­tained were re­leased, that the world learned that Ham­merl, in Libya to cover the civil war there, had been shot and left for dead in the desert. His body has not been found.

One man who made SA head­lines with­out even hav­ing to set foot in the coun­try, and now prob­a­bly never will, was rugby ref­eree Bryce Lawrence.

Lawrence, the New Zealan­der who ref­er­eed the Rugby World Cup match be­tween SA and Aus­tralia, was ac­cused of mak­ing se­ri­ous mis­takes, quickly be­com­ing the man most hated by South Africans.

Face­book groups sul­ly­ing his name still ex­ist.

SA lost the game 9-11, ex­it­ing the tour­na­ment. Nev­er­the­less, this month the New Zealand Rugby Union named him their top ref­eree of the year – the fourth time he has won the ac­co­lade.

Pub­lic Pro­tec­tor Thuli Madon­sela was one of those named News­maker of the Year by the Jo­han­nes­burg Press Club this year.

Madon­sela made head­lines this year when she re­leased hard-hit­ting re­ports on cor­rup­tion. Fall­ing un­der her scrutiny twere the po­lice lease scan­dal and the Mid­vaal mu­nic­i­pal­ity, the only Da-run mu­nic­i­pal­ity in Gaut­eng.

Madon­sela was put un­der pres­sure, too, with po­lice raids on her of­fice and re­ports that she would be ar­rested on charges of cor­rup­tion dat­ing back to her ten­ure at the SA Law Re­form Com­mis­sion.

Madon­sela’s re­ports forced Ja­cob Zuma, Week­end Ar­gus’s next news­maker, to take ac­tion.

Af­ter hav­ing earned him­self a rep­u­ta­tion as a man of lit­tle ac­tion, Zuma fi­nally took con­trol ear­lier this year when he sus­pended po­lice chief Bheki Cele and axed cabi­net min­is­ters Gwen MahlanguNk­abinde (Pub­lic Works, for her role in the leas­ing scan­dal) and Sicelo Shiceka (Co-op­er­a­tive Govern­ment, for his ex­trav­a­gant trips on the tax­pay­ers’ dime). Zuma also set up a com­mis­sion of in­quiry into the Arms Deal.

Cele, who re­mains sus­pended, is also a news­maker this year, not just be­cause of the leas­ing scan­dal.

Last year he re­ferred to mur­der ac­cused Shrien De­wani as a “mon­key”, a state­ment he was forced to re­tract.

In Jan­uary Cele also re­ferred to him­self as “legally il­lit­er­ate”, which was picked up and mis­con­strued by me­dia across the world.

Jus­tice Mo­go­eng Mo­go­eng hit the head­lines im­me­di­ately when he was named as Chief Jus­tice of the Con­sti­tu­tional Court.

The nom­i­na­tion be­came an in­stant con­tro­versy, with his ques­tion­able judg­ments (in­clud­ing one in which he re­duced a rapist’s sen­tence be­cause the rapist had been aroused by his wife and had used min­i­mal force) were res­ur­rected.

His re­li­gious views and his opin­ions on gay and les­bian rights were also ques­tioned.

Jus­tice Mo­go­eng’s name was in the pa­pers so much that dur­ing his in­ter­view for the po­si­tion in Septem­ber he read out a 47- page re­but­tal and de­cried the “five weeks of mer­ci­less at­tacks” he had suf­fered.

In 2011, head­lines were gen­er­ally dom­i­nated by the Pro­tec­tion of In­for­ma­tion (Posi) Bill, dubbed the “Se­crecy Bill”.

Sev­eral well-known crit­ics, in­clud­ing Tutu and Kader Asmal, spoke out against it and the neg­a­tive ef­fects it would have on free­dom of speech.

And when the bill was voted in by Par­lia­ment on Novem­ber 22, the day was de­clared “Black Tues­day”, with thou­sands of South Africans and mem­bers of the me­dia dress­ing in black to protest its pass­ing.

Next year the bill will go be­fore the National Coun­cil of Prov­inces, and is likely to dom­i­nate head­lines again in 2012.

bianca.ca­pa­zo­rio@inl.co.za

PIC­TURE: JEN­NIFER BRUCE

MOCK­ING ZUMA: Sus­pended ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema mim­ics a show­er­head as del­e­gates sing the 'shower song' at the ANC Lim­popo Con­fer­ence.

PIC­TURE: MICHAEL

MP: Lindiwe Mazibuko

DE­NIED EN­TRY: Dalai Lama

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