Stories that made the headlines in 2015

2015-12-31 13:14

Johannesburg - As the year draws to a close, we look back at some of the events that made headlines in 2015.


- Former Vlakplaas commander Eugene de Kock is granted parole. Chris Hani’s killer Clive Derby-Lewis is denied medical parole, Justice Minister Michael Masutha announces.

- Martin van Breda, 54, his wife Teresa, 55, and son Rudi, 22 are killed with an axe in their home on the De Zalze golf estate home in Stellenbosch. Their daughter Marli, 16, and brother Henri, 20, survive. No arrests are made.


- A few hours before the Cricket World Cup semi-final between South Africa and New Zealand, Cricket South Africa CEO Haroon Lorgat reportedly tells Proteas coach Russell Domingo via SMS to pick an extra player of colour for the team. This leads to an unfit Vernon Philander being picked ahead of Kyle Abbot. CSA denies the claims. South Africa loses the match.

- Hip hop artists Nkululeko "Flabba" Habedi is stabbed to death at his home in Alexandra, Johannesburg. His girlfriend Sindisiwe Manqele is found guilty of the crime in December.


- School teacher Jayde Panayiotou, 28, is abducted outside her home in Kabega Park, Port Elizabeth. She is found shot dead outside Kwanobuhle township, Uitenhage. Her husband Christopher is arrested, along with two other men. One turns State witness. The trial of the other two continues in January.


- Judge Selby Baqwa overturns Justice Minister Michael Masutha’s decision to deny Chris Hani’s killer Clive Derby-Lewis, 79, medical parole.


- Two men stow away on a Boeing 747 flying from Johannesburg to London. One of the men dies when he falls out of the undercarriage as the plane is getting ready to land.


- A grandson of former president Nelson Mandela allegedly rapes a 15-year-old girl at Mammas Shebeen in Greenside, Johannesburg. The 24-year-old is arrested, appears in court and is granted R7 000 bail. His trial is expected to start in early 2016.

- The High Court in Johannesburg finds Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir guilty of attempted murder, kidnapping and dealing in drugs, related to the kidnapping and torture of Bheki Lukhele, whose brother Doctor allegedly disappeared with 25kg of tik.


- Police find women’s clitorises in the fridge of a house in Langenhovenpark, Bloemfontein. A 63-year-old Danish man who owns a firearm shop in the city is arrested and appears in court. His wife, Anna Matseliso Molise, 28, a Lesotho citizen, allegedly tipped police off. She is shot dead in Lesotho in October.

- Professor Lee Berger, of the Evolutionary Studies Institute at Wits University, introduces the world to Homo Naledi, a new species of human ancestor, and "practically the best-known fossil member of our lineage".

- The Constitutional Court grants the EFF permission to argue why President Jacob Zuma should comply with Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's recommendations and repay some of the R246m spent on his private Nkandla home. The court will hear the matter in February 2016.


- The Supreme Court of Appeal sets aside AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo’s conviction in 2009 on a charge of culpable homicide conviction. It reduces his 15-year jail term to 12 years and upholds his convictions on charges of assault, kidnapping, and arson.

- A landmark vote means same-sex relationships are recognised by the Dutch Reformed Church. It also votes in favour of ordaining gay ministers and scrapping a so-called celibacy clause.

- The University of the Witwatersrand announces that fees for 2016 will increase by 10.5%. This leads to countrywide student protests against fee increases. President Jacob Zuma announces no fee increases for 2016.

- A pedestrian bridge under construction over the M1 in Sandton, Johannesburg, collapses onto traffic below, killing two people and injuring 19.


- Nehawu-affiliated workers at Parliament go on a month-long strike in a dispute over performance bonuses. They interrupt it briefly to allow President Jacob Zuma’s last scheduled appearance in the National Assembly to go ahead smoothly.

- Armscor announces the start of a process to buy a long-range 30-seater VIP jet for President Jacob Zuma, which could cost as much as R4bn.

- High protein and fat diet champion, Professor Tim Noakes appears before the Health Professions Council of SA on a charge of unprofessional conduct for using Twitter to give dietary advice to a mother on what to feed her baby.


- The Supreme Court of Appeal sets aside former paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s culpable homicide conviction. It rules that he murdered his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He intends to approach the Constitutional Court in 2016 to contest the ruling.

- President Jacob Zuma replaces Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene with ANC backbencher and former Merafong mayor David van Rooyen. The rand falls to R16 to the US dollar and the economy is on the brink of collapse. Following widespread public outrage, Van Rooyen is replaced with former Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

- The Department of Energy confirms Cabinet has authorised it to issue a request for proposal (RFP) to build nuclear power stations capable of generating 9 600MW. Any decision to proceed with the programme would only happen after the RFP process had been completed and a final funding model developed, and referred back to Cabinet for consideration and approval, the department said.  Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s only comment on the matter is that government will not buy something it cannot afford.

- AbaThembu King Buyelekhaya Dalindyebo reports to Wellington prison in Mthatha just before midnight on December 30 to start serving his 12-year sentence, after several failed court bids to avoid jail.


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