By Bethuel Mangena
By Bethuel Mangena

Here are our top 10 cartoons for this year created by Bethuel Mangena, the editorial cartoonist for ANA Pictures.

Mangena's work appears on IOL's social media pages and in The Star, Pretoria News and other Independent Media newspapers nearly every week day.

 This year he has produced more than 200 cartoons covering the most talked about stories of the year. 

He has also used his work to say goodbye to some of South Africa's icons including Ahmed Kathrada and Joe Mafela.

Other cartoons in our Top 10 include the #CoffinAssault Trial, the Ahmed Timol case in the High Court in Pretoria and the end of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe. 

And, of course, South Africa's politicians made it too easy.












Mangena, 38, says he became a cartoonist when he was doing Fine Arts at the University of Johannesburg.

"My lecturers noticed how much I loved drawing cartoons and advised  me to incorporate them in my school projects (painting, sculpture and print making). I didn't get special training to do cartoons but taught myself by copying professional cartoons such as those by Zapiro as well as Asterix and Prince Valiant."

He says his cartoons are inspired by day to day social issues and most importantly our politicians. 

"We just can't live without them. Being a cartoonist is like riding a roller-coaster, One day you get all the best stories/great ideas but can only choose one and the next day is like trying to climb a mountain to find that one idea to save the day. 

"Drawing is easy ... coming up with great ideas is the most difficult part. A great idea makes a great cartoonist stand out from the rest." 

What's his favourite? "That's a very difficult question. As much as I've done cartoons that I wasn't 100% happy with, I've also done a lot of great ones which makes it a little difficult to pick my favourite. 

"The cartoon below is one of the cartoons that makes me laugh every time I look at it. It stands out for the simple reason that my editor was surprised to get a call from Mr Carl Niehaus complaining about the cartoon at 6am. That's too early for one to be getting complaints."

Mangena says: "Sometimes as cartoonists we have to be very serious to make a point. The Freedom Day cartoon is also one of my favourite, it is simple but the message is very powerful."

Also read:

Court finds #AhmedTimol was murdered

Zille justifies 'colonialism' tweet amid scathing criticism



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