From Mokonyane's Aston Martin to Killing Kinnear: The big stories made possible by News24's subscribers

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Environmental Affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane shares a Valentine's moment during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 debate reply at the National Assembly on February 14, 2019. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)
Environmental Affairs minister Nomvula Mokonyane shares a Valentine's moment during President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019 debate reply at the National Assembly on February 14, 2019. (Photo by Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)

In August 2020, News24 joined leading news publications across the world when it launched a digital subscription service.

We asked readers to support us in our endeavour to build a sustainable future for quality, trustworthy journalism by subscribing for access to investigative and in-depth reporting. The response from readers who understand the importance of a vibrant, independent media in a working democracy was overwhelming. 

Over the past year, the support of 40 000 News24 subscribers has empowered us to do countless stories that made a real impact. From exposing a cult in KwaZulu-Natal, to taking you inside the ANC's power blocs and bringing you the Eskom Files, here are some of the influential stories we told during the last year. 

EXCLUSIVE | Exodus: Uncovering sexual crimes and missing millions at a KZN 'cult'

A 50-year old Christian mission in KwaZulu-Natal stands accused of gross violations of human rights, turning a blind eye to sexual abuse, and alleged money laundering spanning four decades. After an investigation of seven months, on 19 September 2020, News24 revealed the depth of the rot at KwaSizabantu (KSB), one of the biggest missions in Africa started by German preacher Erlo Stegen in 1970 at Kranskop, northern KwaZulu-Natal.

PICS | Rapper AKA broke down a door to get to Anele Tembe - a month before her death

Almost a month before Anele "Nelli" Tembe fell to her death at a Cape Town hotel on 11 April this year, she locked herself inside a room to hide from her fiancé, Kiernan "AKA" Forbes. In images released to News24 for the first time, the award-winning rapper could be seen using his hands to violently break down a wooden door to enter the bedroom in their apartment in Bryanston, Johannesburg where Tembe was hiding.

How Ramaphosa survived onslaught at the NEC meeting

In late August 2020, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa survived an attack on his leadership after he pledged to subject himself to the internal process of the integrity commission.This was after his opponents in the party placed him under pressure, saying he had no moral authority to speak out about ending corruption when he was hiding financial details regarding his #CR17 campaign in 2017.

Estate 'capture': Developer of award-winning Pearl Valley Golf Estate accused of authoritarian conduct

The developers of Pearl Valley Golf & Country Estate faced accusations of alleged financial misconduct as well as "authoritarian" and "obfuscatory" behaviour in April 2021. Court papers revealed a battle between aggrieved parties.

Mokonyane never declared R2.2m payment for her Aston Martin - but a bag, some clothes and properties made the cut

Copies of former minister Nomvula Mokonyane's declarations obtained from the Gauteng provincial legislature revealed she never declared a R2 million "gift" given to her as a down payment on a luxury Aston Martin sports car. In testimony before the state capture commission, Mokonyane admitted she received the down payment as a 50th birthday present from a family friend, Thaba Mufamadi.

Inside the ANC's power blocs: How the tectonic plates have shifted since Nasrec

Some 30 months since taking over the ANC presidency, those around President Cyril Ramaphosa said that he is finally ready to assert himself as leader - and that it's the brazen corruption linked to the Covid-19 pandemic that has gifted him the opportunity to take charge.

THE ESKOM FILES | FBI, Hawks probe General Electric's R30m 'donation' to DD Mabuza Foundation

A multi-disciplinary investigation by law enforcement agencies in South Africa and the US is probing the "strategic donation" of R30 million by the American multinational General Electric (GE) through Eskom to a foundation registered in the name of Deputy President David Mabuza.


Targeting AGU Team C

By the time Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear – a key member of the police’s Anti-Gang Unit – was murdered outside his home in Cape Town, the cellphones he carried had been illegally tracked thousands of times. His death revealed a murky spy world where cellphone tracking technology, meant to be the exclusive preserve of law enforcement, was used to track hundreds of people illegally. 

Through well-placed sources, News24 obtained a trove of ping data believed to be linked to one-time rugby star turned debt collector Zane Kilian. For six weeks, we trawled through the list in an effort to identify those who had been spied on. The data revealed that, in 17 months, Kilian used a software platform on his phone to track as many as 680 people, using 5 308 pings.

EXCLUSIVE | Zuma's 'private spy' Thulani Dlomo a prime suspect for instigating unrest

The controversial former head of the State Security Agency's (SSA) rogue special operations unit, Thulani Dlomo, has been identified as a prime suspect being investigated for fomenting violent unrest in KwaZulu-Natal following the arrest of former president Jacob Zuma. 

Blood Brothers: Gangs, guns and grenades. Inside a tobacco industry death squad

Sebestian Groenewald had been a constable in the Ekurhuleni Metro Police Department and had served without blemish for 11 years. Stationed in Germiston on the East Rand, the 45-year-old was seconded into the EMPD’s Special Weapons and Tactics Unit – an outfit of highly trained tactical officers.    Hours after his bullet-riddled body was found near Reiger Park in eastern Johannesburg in April last year, though, detectives discovered an R5 assault rifle - twice stolen from a police armoury - hidden in his car. The weapon was later linked to six murders.

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