This year, the nation bid farewell to anti-apartheid activist and politician Winnie Madikizela Mandela and queen of soul music Aretha Franklin.
Zimbabweans went to the polls - for the first time without Robert Mugabe’s name in the ballot.
Jacob Zuma vacated his position as the president of the country and in came Cyril Ramaphosa.
France won the Fifa World Cup in Russia. These and more are our selection of some of the most powerful news photographs taken around the world this year.
HAWK EYE In October, Police Minister Bheki Cele launched the Tactical Response Team in Westbury, deployed to help combat crime and violence in the area, as a defence force helicopter hovered overhead. Picture: Christopher Moagi
SEALED WITH A KISS Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle – AKA the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – kiss as they leave from the West Door of St George’s Chapel in Windsor Castle. Picture: Ben Stansall
ON TOP OF THE WORLD France's President Emmanuel Macron celebrates a goal as Fifa President Gianni Infantino looks on at the final match of Fifa World Cup Russia between France and Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium. Picture: Alexei Nikolsky
FAREWELL TO MAMA A crowd watches as the funeral procession of fallen struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela travels from Orlando Stadium in Soweto – where her official funeral service was held – to Fourways Memorial Park, where her body was laid to rest. Picture: Charlie Shoemaker / Getty Images
QUEEN OF OUR SOULS The body of legendary singer Aretha Franklin lies in repose at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African-American History in August for a two-day public viewing before her funeral. Picture: Paul Sancya-Pool / Getty Images
IN THE DOCK Former president Jacob Zuma appeared at the Durban High Court in June on charges of corruption. Addressing his supporters outside court, Zuma threatened to expose those who provoked him. Picture: Felix Dlangamandla
POWER COUPLE US singers Beyoncé and Jay-Z performed at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100, held at FNB Stadium on December 2. A host of local and international stars also featured. Picture: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images
MR PRESIDENT People in Mbare, a suburb in Harare, celebrate the re-election of Zanu-PF’s Emmerson Mnangagwa as president of Zimbabwe on August 3. He narrowly beat the MDC’s Nelson Chamisa. Picture: Dan Kitwood / Getty images
BLOOD MOON A lunar eclipse occurred when the sun, Earth and moon aligned, putting the moon in Earth’s shadow. The red colouring was as a result of sunlight refracting through Earth’s atmosphere. Picture: Richard Heathcote / Getty Images
EMERGENCY CREW Firefighters take a break during the second day of battling a fire that engulfed the Bank of Lisbon building in Joburg’s CBD. Three firefighters died in the blaze, which lasted three days. Picture: Tebogo Letsie
NO-GO AREA A Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mum is searched and detained near the US-Mexico border in McAllen, Texas, as part of the US’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy on undocumented immigrants. Picture: John Moore / Getty Images
BUFFALO MOVES President Cyril Ramaphosa’s October investment summit raked in R290bn in pledges. Picture: Denvor de Wee