Top stories that dominated in 2023

THABO Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana appeared alongside their co-accused in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court. Pictures: SABC

THABO Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana appeared alongside their co-accused in the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court. Pictures: SABC

Published Dec 23, 2023


As the year comes to a close, we look back at some of the major stories of 2023 that commanded the attention of South Africans, with some of them making headlines beyond SA boundaries.

The list ranges from politics, entertainment, hard news and crime, with each having dominated across a range of social media platforms.

Thabo Bester and Dr Nandipha Magudumana

The story of convicted rapist Thabo Bester and his partner Dr Nandipha Magudumana was a sizzling subject since the news broke this year.

Bester, who is “popular” for various crimes, escaped from the Mangaung Correctional Centre and faked his death in 2022.

He was on the run for a year before being caught in Tanzania, and was brought back to SA with Magudumana.

Celebrity Deaths

KIERNAN Jarryd Forbes, better known by his stage name AKA, a South African hip hop recording artist originally from Cape Town, visited the SAE Institute in Woodstock, Cape Town, to address the students there. | David Ritchie

Numerous deaths rocked the world of entertainment and media, leaving fans, co-workers and families distraught.

The list includes Kiernan “AKA” Forbes, Costa Titch, Zoleka Mandela, Derek Watts, Jermain Craig, Eusebius Mckaiser, Lebohang Mpyana and Zahara.

Fake foods

THESE original grocery products have been identified as some of the popular items that are being cloned in the illicit food market. Scores of posts are doing the rounds on social media warning of fake foods that pose a possible health threat, including baby formula. | ANA Pictures

In October, a fatal incident occurred where two kids died after allegedly eating biscuits and drinking juice purchased from a local foreign-run spaza shop.

The incident sparked different reactions, with many calling for the closure of spaza shops while others suggested stringent regulations be put in place to ensure the safety of buyers.

Joburg blaze

A FIRE in a 4-storey apartment building in the heart of Joburg claimed over 70 lives injured and more then 40. The blaze started in the early hours of Thursday morning and by 10am more then 77 people were declared to have perished in it. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

A multi-storey building in Johannesburg caught fire, killing 77 people.

The inferno left many of the residents displaced, while others had to start from scratch after losing everything.

IT APPEARS that the holiday season will not be a hive of activity for well-known rapper and television host Molemo “Jub Jub” Maarohanye, whose rape case was postponed to December despite a request for a different date. | Instagram

Earlier this year, South Africa woke up to the news that Molemo 'Jub Jub' Maarohanye, a rapper and TV personality, handed himself over to police.

On the latest developments, Molemo is expected to appear in court on February 5, 2024 on allegations of assault, attempted murder and rape in a case involving four complainants that spans 2006 to 2010.

Xolani Khumalo. Picture: Supplied

Popular drug buster and TV broadcaster Xolani Khumalo left many of his followers in shock after news that he turned himself in to the police in connection with a fatal incident that happened at one of the most recent controversial drug raids.

The Sizokuthola host found himself and his team at the centre of controversy in July following a man's death while under questioning.

Robert "Kicks" Varrie was named as the deceased in a statement released by the television channel Moja Love.

Dr Matthew Lani unmasked as a fake doctor

FOLLOWING his arrest on Sunday after a string of complaints that he is a fake doctor, Matthew Lani, 27, appeared briefly in the Joburg Magistrate’s Court where charges were withdrawn as there were no formal complainants. His lawyer, Bongani Mabunda, said the videos Lani made were for Tik Tok content and confirmed that his client was not a real doctor. | Timothy Bernard Independent Newspapers

A recent case that received much media attention was that of a TikTok influencer, Dr Matthew Lani who regularly shared medical advice on the social media platform.

Lani claimed to be a graduate of Wits Medical School and an employee of Johannesburg's Helen Joseph Hospital, allowing him unrestricted access to the facility.

It was later uncovered that he was not an accredited doctor but was merely creating content for entertainment purposes.

SPRINGBOK captain Siya Kolisi. | Supplied

Springbok Rugby World Cup victory against New Zealand was one for the books.

Other stories included Zama Zamas, Zimbabwe young nationals reportedly trafficked, Tina Joemat-Pettersson, the audio with David Skosana and how Julius Malema was elevated to stardom.

Saturday Star

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