Ten South African news stories

Ten South African news stories that made us smile in 2013

We ring in the festive season by looking back at some of the news stories that made us smile in 2013.

Ten South African news stories

It’s been a somewhat grim year for South Africa; the Oscar Pistorius shooting and Nelson Mandela’s death were particularly sad — but there were numerous reasons to smile, whether it was seeing our countrymen shine on the international stage or moments that simply made us proud to be South African.

As we look back at some of the stories that made us happy in 2013, we wish all our readers and their families a peaceful and joyous Christmas and New Year. Our next print edition will hit the streets on Tuesday 7 January 2014.

Click the headline to read the full story.

Act allowing expats to vote abroad becomes law

Jacob Zuma signed the electoral amendment bill into law, which now allows South Africans overseas to register to vote in next year’s elections. When the President announces the date of the election South Africans living abroad will have 15 days to complete an online form and submit to the IEC to notify them of your intention to vote abroad. Watch this space for updates.

South Africa’s Sean Conway is first person to swim length of Britain

Endurance adventurer Sean Conway became the very first person to swim more than 1,000 miles along the length of Britain. Conway, who was born in Zimbabwe and grew up in KwaZulu-Natal, left Land’s End on 30 June and finally reached John O’Groats on 11 November. In the process, he raised almost £10,000 for the charity War Child.

The South African celebrates its 10th birthday

On 19 March 2003 the first edition of The South African hit the streets of London. In 2013 we celebrated a decade of serving the SA community in UK. Our survival is testament to the tenacity of our founders and staff as well as our loyal readers, contributors and advertisers.

Two young South African women rugby tackle and subdue thief in Paris

Two South African women had just arrived to study in Paris, only to be mugged in their apartment by a homeless man. But instead of watching helplessly, they sped off in hot pursuit of him, rugby tackling the thief to the ground. He was later arrested by stunned French police.

Lil’ diva Asanda Jezile makes Britain’s Got Talent final

11-year-old London singer Asanda Jezile, whose South African parents are both musicians, made it to the final stage of the UK talent show. She ended in 11th place, but we will no doubt be hearing more from her in future.

South African makes X Factor top ten

South African beauty consultant Jeanette Akua and her girl band Miss Dynamix were one of 12 acts selected for the live shows round on the X Factor UK. The 21-year-old originally auditioned as a solo artist but was united with two other ‘rejects’ to form the group. They were eliminated in week three, finishing in 10th place.

Hospital hero floats from Robben Island to mainland on 160 balloons

In April UK-based South African Matt Silver-Vallance realised his dream of floating from Robben Island to Cape Town using a cluster of helium filled balloons to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital.

If Matt’s awe-inspiring flight shows us anything, it’s that Nelson Mandela was right: it always seems impossible until it’s done.

news to smile aboutDesmond Tutu receives £1.1m lifetime award in London

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was presented with the 2013 Templeton Prize in recognition of his lifelong work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness, at a moving and musical ceremony in London’s historic Guildhall.

He received the £1.1 million award in front of a distinguished audience that included the Archbishop of York, British faith leaders, ambassadors and members of both Houses of Parliament.

Saffa braais in Wimbledon every day for a year — all for rhinos

London-based South African Mat Hartley is on a quest to have a braai every day for one year in order to raise money for Save the Rhino. He started in May and is still going strong!

Huge sporting triumphs

South African sportsmen and women excelled on the world stage in 2013. The country’s national rugby and football teams both boosted their world rankings over the course of the year, while the Proteas remained the undisputed number one team in test cricket. Daryl Impey became the first South African to wear the Tour de France’s famous yellow jersey. (Read more about South Africa’s sporting highlights of 2013 on the back page).

What made you proud to be South African in 2013? Leave your comment below.