BESTOF2011 22 december 2011 | R20 | ISSUe 16
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www.nn.co.za | KEEPING YOU IN THE KNOW
Toptrends DionChangon what’shot–P20 Arabspring NorthAfrica’s revolution–P12 Howmuch? Prices:howSA compares–P56 ANCin 2012 willzumastay orgo?–P26 Slums Magicamid themuck–P80
Best of 2011
What a year!
9 780987 001443
win! PrizeS wOrth r100 000
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12 Storyof the year
Compiled by kevin jaCobs
The people have spoken
LIKE a rolling desert sandstorm the “Arab spring” revolution swept through North Africa on a hot wind of anger, hope and determination before rolling onwards into the Middle East. In the storm’s gritty wake lay the ruins of once unchallengable dictatorships and tyranny, revelations of grand-scale personal enrichment by the ruling few, the promise of longlost liberties restored, a clear warning to resilient rulers to liberalise and the burden of reconciling and rebuilding damaged societies and psyches. After an uprising reportedly ignited by the suicide of a young street merchant frustrated by police harassment and red tape, Tunisia’s Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, in power since 1988, was ousted in January and fled his country. His was a perfect police state – nobody had predicted his fall, Western media noted. After 30 years in power Egypt’s stubborn president, Hosni Mubarak, finally resigned in February amid a street revolution and was charged with ordering the killing of protesters and criminally enriching himself and family members during his time in office. His initial court appearance provided public spectacle as he was wheeled in on a stretcher, apparently ill with a heart complaint. Mubarak’s fall coincided with the uprising in neighbouring Libya where Muammar Gaddafi’s eccentric and heavyhanded rule had kept Libya cowed for 42 years. In August the tightening rebel stranglehold reached Tripoli and Gaddafi was spirited away, a fugitive – with government cronies and family – from International Criminal Court arrest warrants. Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC),
By the numbers
a semi-formalised body of assorted and even rival tribal, political and religious groups, stalled elections and national reconstruction while the hunt for Gaddafi went on. It ended with the “Brother Leader” cornered in a stormwater outlet as his birthplace, Sirte, fell to NTC fighters. Dramatic images flashed around the world of a cowed and bloodied Gaddafi, further humiliated by the loss of his curly hairpiece exposing his balding head, being manhandled by emotional rebels. Then he was dead, the manner of his passing blurred by the fog of mob madness but announced hours later by the NTC amid celebratory gunfire and the exultation of huge crowds in Tripoli. In Syria President Bashar al Assad’s soldiers violently cracked down on protesters demanding he step down (See pg 34).
How it was covered
CHANGE swept across North Africa from early 2011 with a momentum and surge of popu-
lar support that startled the world and unnerved other autocratic leaders in the region. News coverage streamed worldwide of the conflicts, the crowds, human suffering and the hopes of people sensing liberty. “Not once in my 43 years have I thought that I’d see an Arab leader toppled by his people,” Egyptian-born writer Mona Eltahawy commented in The Washington Post soon after Ben Ali was forced out. “It is nothing short of poetic justice that it was neither Islamists nor invasion-in-thename-of-democracy that sent the waters rushing onto Ben Ali’s ship but rather the youth of his country.” Similar sentiment was echoed when Egypt’s Mubarak stepped down after 18 days of popular protest, focused in huge numbers on Cairo’s Tahrir Square. “I have waited, I have worked all my adult life, to see the power of the people show itself. I am speechless,” campaigner Dina Magdi told
Libyans celebrate following the announcement of the country’s liberation in Martyrs’ Square, Tripoli, three days after Muammar Gaddafi was captured and killed.
The total population of Egypt, considered one of the most populous countries in Africa
of Egyptians are Coptic Christians
The number of states in the Nato alliance, 26 of them European, that aided Libyan rebels in bringing down Muammar Gaddaﬁ
The year Muammar Gaddaﬁ changed Libya’s name to the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriyah (State of the Masses) Al Jazeera TV on the jampacked square. “The moment is not only about Mubarak stepping down, it is also about people’s power to bring about the change no one thought possible.” Correspondent Craig Whitlock wrote on washingtonpost.com, “Egyptians were suf-
ALL three countries faced challenges as they tried to change ingrained patterns of government and living, analysts said. In Tunisia seven million voters faced appeals for their support and trust as more than 80 parties campaigned in ad vance of an election in October. But trust, human rights campaigner Intissar Kherigi observed, “is hard to find in a country that has lived through corruption, bru tality and countless empty promises”. Nonetheless the nation’s first demo cratic election in decades gave the Islam ic Ennahda party 41% of the vote, leaving it to form a government. Egypt’s transition was initially stalled by violent clashes between members of the Coptic Christian minority and Mus lims. Then renewed violence erupted
By the numbers
EXTRA SOURCES: ALJAZEERA.NET, THE NEW YORK TIMES
fused with a sense they had made world history, on par with chapters such as the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe. “In a region long devoid of democracy and stifled by repression, Egyptians celebrated with fireworks, a cacophony of [car] horns and a sea of red-white-and-black national flags.” After months of erratic fighting between armed rebel formations and loyalist Gaddafi soldiers and aerial strikes by Nato warplanes on government targets, Tripoli fell and Libyans celebrated too. “We are at last free of this dictator,” rebel fighter Wael Abu Khris told The Sydney Morning Herald. “Libya is free at last. No more Gaddafi. It is time for a new Libya that will shine.”
Burning effigies marked protests against Syria’s President Bashar alAssad.
over the reluctance of the interim military government, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), to call elections for a legislature and stand down. Cairo’s Tahrir Square became a battle ground again, pitting protesters against the police and army. But initial voting went ahead surprisingly peacefully in a complex process to create a parliament and a con stitutionwriting assembly by mid2012. Amid lingering suspicion of its intentions, the SCAF said it was committed to hand ing ruling power to a civilian government. Libya’s postGaddafi transition would not be easy, observers said. “[It] is a coun try shot through with rivalries, jealousies and blood debts,” the University of Cam bridge’s Tarak Barkawi wrote on aljazeera. net. “It has been torn apart by war. Now it has lost the one thing that united much of
[it]: Hatred of Gaddafi and his regime.” Hours after Gaddafi’s death the NTC declared an end to the uprising and the start of a future of moderate Islamic rule. The uprisings cost the affected coun tries billions, Geopolicity estimated, ac cording to The Tripoli Post. “Largely this is a story of oil, the health of public bal ance sheets and domestic trouble.” Oil industry analyst John Hamilton said it was crucial for Libya to get its wealth generating oil flowing again, according to the BBC. The events “have shown bringing an end to despotic rule is possible only if the nation is willing to make sacrifices”, The Times noted. “Many countries are under oppressive rule. They should take note of the progress of the Arab spring and be come the champions of their destiny.”
The compensation for Africa Muammar Gaddaﬁ demanded from former colonial rulers
The number of years former Tunisian president Zine elAbidine Ben Ali was in power
employees of a Ugandan mosque were paid by Gaddaﬁ for 20 years
PICTURES: GALLO IMAGES/AFP, THE BIGGER PICTURE/REUTERS
14 South Africa
Compiled by liesl peyper
the big one
More work needed to save our rhino How it was covered
SOME progress has been made in the war against the senseless killings of rhinos, Business Day reported. “The national parks are engaging the eyes and ears of local communities, beefing up foot patrols, providing rangers with ‘militarystyle’ training.” But it’s clearly not enough. “Demand for rhino horn is such that an average of one rhino is butchered every 21 hours in SA,” wildlife veterinarian André Uys wrote for the newspaper. “Well-funded, well-connected crime syndicates are controlling
A rhino being airlifted out of a poaching area in the Eastern Cape.
THEIR numbers are dropping – fast. And the decline in African rhino is accelerating by the year. There are little more than 20 000 in Africa today yet South Africa has seen record rates of rhino being killed this year. About 370 were maimed and murdered for their horn, up from 333 last year, according to estimates by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and antipoaching organisation stoprhinopoaching.com. It’s a shocking increase from the 13 rhino poached in 2007, The Guardian noted. The trade is lucrative: 1kg rhino horn can fetch up to R460 000 by some estimates. Writing for the FM, Richard Slater-Jones noted it’s difficult to get exact figures because black market rates are so unstable. “Some say 1kg is worth twice as much as 1kg of gold.” There is a great demand, the WWF said, especially in Asian countries such as Vietnam, be-
By the numbers
cause of the mistaken belief the horn has medicinal value. Syndicates pay big bucks to get locals to track and kill the rhino for their horns. But authorities stepped up efforts to stop them and so far more than 20 have been killed in shootouts with police. A number of locals and Thai citizens were arrested, including a Thai national who used Thai prostitutes and strippers in SA to get rhino hunting permits, which he then used to legally hunt the beasts and claim their horns. Rangers also came under fire – one was shot by colleagues after being mistaken for a poacher. Environmental affairs minister Edna Molewa eventually declared government would place a moratorium on issuing rhino hunting permits. She backed down after an outcry – and legal threats – from hunting farm owners but insisted a trained environmental inspector be present at every rhino hunt.
The estimated value of ﬂood damage in eight provinces
LEGALISE horn trading is one argument. “We’re forcing people who want rhino horn to kill the animals while there are legitimate ways to obtain it,” game ranch owner John Hume told Beeld. Make the horns poisonous in a way that would affect humans but not animals, others said. The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve in Joburg made and inserted a mixture of drugs into their rhinos’ horns that cause convulsions and headaches in people if consumed, News24 reported. The chemical composition of rhino horn should be synthesised, a reader commented on mg.co.za. “[Flood] the market then it’s no longer
the game and authorities are two steps behind.” Unscrupulous operators are destroying the legal rhino hunting industry, the Globe and Mail noted. “Rhinos can be hunted legally in SA where a permit is issued and some sports hunters – often from North America – pay up to $100 000 (R800 000) for a chance to kill a rhino in SA. But the permits are sometimes abused.” The war against rhino poaching is not being won, The Citizen argued. “Although the market for rhino horn is undoubtedly in the East the actual killers are mainly South Africans.”
economically sensible to poach.” Dr Joseph Okori of the WWF said he was “extremely disappointed” no prosecutions had been made in consumer states of rhino horn, despite 165 arrests in SA, the Mail & Guardian reported. The South African Police Service is helping private owners of rhino to get licences for rifles as defence against poachers armed with AK-47s, The Times noted. Meanwhile, Molewa has appointed the Endangered Wildlife Trust to research whether the dehorning of rhinos causes behavioural disorders, according to various reports.
Dehorning rhinos to prevent their murder is an option, some argue. The number of mines belonging to a mining group operating without water licenses in Mpumalanga
The decline in the number of car hijackings compared to 2009-2010
news 3-53 crime
ONE lured women through Facebook to rape them; the other raped women on a Sunday. Now Thabo Bester (23), the Facebook rapist, and Jaco Steyn (35), the Sunday rapist, are both behind bars after they were arrested within days of each other. Bester admitted to raping two women and was sentenced to 50 years in jail, news outlets noted. “Going to the court and seeing him getting his sentence was closure,” one of the victims’ parents told East Coast Radio. Bester, who also faces murder charges for allegedly killing a 26-year-old model, intends to appeal, IOL reported.
Steyn confessed to raping and killing Roodepoort schoolgirl Louise de Waal while his wife was at work and his six-year-old son was at school, Beeld reported. He allegedly raped a number of young girls in Gauteng and North West since 2008. “Most of the cases happened on a Sunday,” detective Peet du Toit told The Times. Steyn, who appeared in the Krugersdorp Magistrate’s court, faces at least 30 charges of raping and kidnapping. In an exclusive interview with Rapport’s Hanlie Retief, Steyn’s wife, Melanie, said she never wanted to see her husband again. “I’m relieved he was caught. It’s over.”
Facebook rapist Thabo Bester (RIGHT) got 50 years in jail.
How much mining magnate Patrice Motsepe, SA’s ﬁrst black billionaire, is worth. He now occupies the top spot on the Sunday Times Rich List
Harsh law enforcers
THERE was out rage when sus pended police commissioner Bheki Cele told his forces they could shoot to kill criminals. The order would lead to po lice brutality, critics argued – and they were vindicated in April when Ficks burg resident Andries Tatane was killed by cops. Footage showing Tatane (33) being beaten and shot during a service delivery protest shocked many (see pg 17). In July Mapha seka Kunene of Warden, Free State, was para lysed when she was shot during a demonstration. Police allegedly threatened resi dents would be shot, “like And ries Tatane”, Beeld reported. Civil claims against the South African Police Service amount ed to R11bn in the 2010’11 financial year, politicsweb. com noted.
Frail but fine
HYSTERIA over the condition of former president Nelson Mandela reached fever pitch when he was unexpectedly hospitalised in January. Initial silence from the Nelson Mandela Foundation and government caused wild speculation about the state of Madiba’s health. Crowds gathered at his Houghton, Joburg, residence and Parktown West hospital, according to the Sowetan. The Foundation later revealed he was admitted for acute respiratory infection. He recovered and in July moved to his birthplace, Qunu, Eastern Cape, in time for his 93rd birthday, IOL reported. It’s believed he will settle there and not return to Houghton.
Madiba’s deteriorating health caused panic. trials
Facing the music
COURTS were full of high-profile cases in 2011 and will be well into 2012: Chris Mahlangu (29) and a 16-year-old minor return to court in January 2012 for the murder trial of slain AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche. His body was found on his farm near Ventersdorp, North West. Standing trial for the double murder of their parents, Johan and Riekie Lotter, were Hardus (23) and Nicolette (29) Lotter. The siblings and Nicolette’s ex-boyfriend, Mathew Naidoo, pleaded not guilty. The Lotters blamed Naidoo, saying they acted on his instructions because he’d claimed he was the third son of God. Disgraced former top cop Jackie Selebi reported for jail 5 December – he must spend 15 years behind bars after a failed appeal against his conviction and sentence. Selebi was found guilty of corruption in 2010 after receiving R166 000 in bribes from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti. Appeals Court Judge Kenneth Mthiyane confirmed the ruling that Selebi had received payment from Agliotti.
National Health Insurance (NHI): What you could pay ANNuAl INcome
eSTImATed HeAlTHcARe coSTS TodAy** coSTS uNdeR NHI
Serial rapists brought to book
THe ANNuAl TAx gAp***
THe exTRA you mAy HAve To pAy A moNTH R455 R1 131
Few things got us as hot under the collar as the pro posed NHI. See pg 50 for more on the NHI.
R1 805 gRAPHicS24
*Total taxable income. ** Including taxes for public health spending. *** Additional money government would need for the NHI.
By the numbers
of South Africans are either overweight or obese
The number of motorists who die in accidents daily, according to the national department of transport
The number of passengers who’d taken the Gautrain within its ﬁrst 50 days of operation
40 Powerful pictures A Guatemalan gymnast in action at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships held in Tokyo in October. More than 500 gymnasts from 81 countries took part.
Members of contemporary dance company Cloud Gate Dance Theatre of Taiwan perform their show White at London’s Sadler’s Wells theatre in November.
SA women’s hockey team striker Pietie Coetzee in action against Azerbaijan at the Wanderers Hockey Club in Joburg in January. The Proteas beat their Eurasian opponents 4-3, with Coetzee scoring three of the goals.
Serbia’s Novak Djokovic returns a shot to Spain’s Rafael Nadal during the men’s final match of the US Open in Flushing Meadows, New York, in September. Djokovic beat Nadal 6-2, 6-4, 6-7 and 6-1 to win his third 2011 Grand Slam title. He also won the Australian Open and Wimbledon.
Australian fly-half Quade Cooper (RIGHT) fails to stop New Zealand fullback Israel Dagg during their 2011 Rugby World Cup semifinal match. New Zealand beat Australia 20-6.
Konstantinos Filippidis of Greece competes in the men’s pole vault qualification at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Paris, France, in March.
PICTURES: aP/kojI SaSahaRa, GREaTSToCk/CoRBIS, GREaTSToCk/EPa, Gallo ImaGES/GETTy ImaGES, Gallo ImaGES/FoTo24/ChRISTIaan koTzE
The US synchronised swimming team trains at the Scotiabank Aquatic Center in Guadalajara, Mexico, during the Pan American Games in October.
Compiled by ANdReW doNAldSoN
Hot new destination: Tunisia TUNISIA used to enjoy the distinction of being the cheapest mass tourism destination on the Mediterranean. But with former president Zine alAbidine Ben Ali’s ousting the industry suffered a massive setback and tourism revenue plunged by almost 50% in the first six months of 2011, Reuters reported. But things are picking up again. The new regime won’t abandon mass tourism – and the in-
dustry hopes democracy will open up more of this historic and culturally diverse country to visitors. As one Tunis hotel manager told The Irish Times: “It was hard to offer my guests anything other than a suntan [under Ben Ali].” In addition to its cosmopolitan beach resorts attractions include the ancient ruins of Carthage and the Muslim and Jewish quarters of Djerba. Book now.
Idyllic Tunisia is once again becoming a tourist hotspot. Democracy is expected to result in tourist numbers increasing because there are now more places visitors can access.
Think twice before you go there
of town to pick him up nor could he summon a decent private cab. Why? It’s in the middle of a high-crime zone that has frequent muggings and murders so no one who could avoid it would go near the place.” Hardly the Jozi we know. Other places on the list included: Downtown Los Angeles; Caracas, Venezuela; Edmonton, Canada; Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Russia; Niger; and any golf resort, anywhere.
Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport is one of the worst places in the world in which to get stuck.
By the numbers
of international travellerswillusemobilecheckin for ﬂights in 2012
Travel costs will rise
TRAVELLERS will have to fork out much more in 2012. According to travel companies’ forecasts the most substantial increases will occur in “booming” Latin America. In Brazil, where “the strong demand for travel services often outpaces supply”, 2012’s second-half average hotel rates may be up more than 30%, Carlson Wagonlit Travel’s (CWT) annual forecast said. Airfares across the region may increase by up to 6%, with popular Colombia forecast to see the largest increase of 11%. Airfare increases in the Asia/Pacific region were expected to range between 3% and 4%, according to CWT. Airfare increases in China are expected to approach 7%. For Australia and New Zealand CWT predicted average daily hotel rates would grow as much as 5%. In other regions, especially debtstricken Europe, modest increases are anticipated.
IN JUNE msn.com approached 17 travel writers and editors and asked them to name the “worst places in the world to get stuck in”. Travelsupermarket. com’s Bob Atkinson said this about the bus depot at Johannesburg’s Park Station: “One of my travel colleagues got stuck there after taking a backpacking budget coach from Cape Town to the largest South African city. However, as the arrival was late in the day his friends in the city would not drive to this part
The discount oﬀered by some safari operators to lure American travellers to African game parks bargains
When the going got rough
REGIME change, kidnapping, riots, strikes – 2011 was not a good year for some tourist-attracting countries. But if you’re prepared to chance it there are bargains in these places. Tourism in Egypt has yet to recover from the Arab spring. The Sunday Times (UK) reported just 40 of about 300 Nile cruisers sailing from Aswan are currently operating. This, according to Egyptologist George Hart, made it “the best time I can remember for seeing Egypt’s antiquities”. Sharm el-Sheikh, about 500km from Cairo, reported hotel occupancy as low as 40%, and tour operators are offering big discounts. Meanwhile, Somali pirates and militants kidnapping tourists and aid workers devastated Kenyan tourism. In Greece, protests against austerity measures caused chaos in Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra and Heraklion.
Cost of a one-way tourist-class ticket from Joburg to Cape Town on the Shosholoza Meyl train
Cost of taking your car on the Meyl
Huanglong, Sichuan – China
Going green helps
SUSTAINABLE travel is gaining importance, according to Barbara Messing, a marketing executive at TripAdvisor. “Travellers want to know more about the green practices and environmental reputation of hotels and seek to understand whether the hotel is part of the problem or the solution in promoting better environment practices. “A growing set of travellers wants to see how their tourism dollars benefit the local community in certain destinations,” she told eyefortravel.com.
SMALL, obscure, under the radar – and growing in popularity. In his annual forecast of travel trends, Thomas Stanley, head of Cox & Kings, the world’s oldest travel brand, said, “Modern travellers are craving locales way off the radar – and in most cases that actually means ‘under the radar’. “These sought-after spots include rarely visited European countries such as Albania and Serbia, the Russian Far East and Greenland, Central Asian countries such as Uzbekistan and offshore destinations such as the Falkland Islands and Papua New Guinea.” His top destinations for 2012 are Indonesia, Ghana, Malaysia, Nepal, Romania, Iceland and Abu Dhabi. He predicted a surge in South American travel. Other must-visit cities include Beirut in Lebanon, Luang Prabang in Laos, Hyderabad in India, Stockholm in Sweden and Tallinn in Estonia.
VIRGIN Galactic has sold hundreds of tickets for commercial space flights and about 150 of the intrepid ticket-holders attended the unveiling of the $209m (R1,6bn) Spaceport America in New Mexico, the world’s first terminal constructed solely for the space travel of private citizens. Tickets for private passengers to enjoy an astronaut’s view of Earth cost about $200 000 (R1,6m). Chief pilot David Mackay told The Wall Street Journal commercial flights will start in 2013 after many delays.
To the ends of the Earth
Residents of Hyderabad in India will see more tourists.
passengers, plus two pilots, can be accommodated on Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo
Space trek travel library
FIVE forthcoming releases we’ll be looking out for in 2012: Best in Travel 2012 by the editors of Lonely Planet. This guide to the top countries, regions, festivals and cities to visit is a must-read. The Unconquered: In Search of the Amazon’s Last Uncontacted Tribes by Scott Wallace (RIGHT). A gripping first-person account of a quest to find the last survivors of a culture that predated Columbus. Secret Journeys of a Lifetime, Volume II: 500 of the World’s Best Hidden Travel Gems by the editors of National Geographic (RIGHT). Exactly what it promises: Insiders’ secrets from roads less travelled. The New Granta Book of Travel edited by Liz Jobey, with an introduction by Jonathan Raban. An anthology of the best travel writing published by the literary magazine since 1991, when its last travel collection was published. Holidays in Heck by PJ O’Rourke. Two decades ago the humourist published the classic Holidays in Hell, his adventures as a war correspondent. Now he reports on even grimmer experiences – family vacations.
The number of people from 50 countries who have booked a seat on SpaceShipTwo
EXTRA SOURCES: SPACEPORTAMERICA.COM, AMAZON, REUTERS, ThE NEW YORK TIMES, TRAVEL UK, BUSINESS TRAVELLER, hOTEL NEWS RESOURCE, SA RAILWAYS
The approximate time, in minutes, passengers will experience weightlessness aboard SpaceShipTwo; ﬂights last 2,5 hours
PICTURES: NATIONAL GEOGRAPhIC, RANdOM hOUSE, GREATSTOCK/MASTERFILE, ISTOCK.COM, GALLO IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES, GREATSTOCK/CORBIS, GALLO IMAGES/AFP
Huanglong, declared a World Heritage Site in 1992, is a scenic setting in the northwest part of Sichuan, China. The area is known for its colourful pools formed by calcite deposits as well as diverse forest ecosystems, snow-capped peaks, waterfalls and hot springs. Huanglong is also home to many endangered species including the giant panda and the Sichuan golden snub-nosed monkey.
The expected growth in the luxury travel market over the next ﬁve years due to the increase in millionaires from India and the subcontinent
coMpilED BY BoNolo MoDisE
gets 40 000 new users every day.
The number of SA Facebook users in August 2011. More than three million visited the site in the past year.
Twitter users who tweet
76% “This is partly a factor of many users moving on once the novelty of the site had worn off as well as a result of the fickle nature of the youth market” – Michal Wronski, Fuseware
10 million active users, followed by Facebook with 4,2 million users. LinkedIn, aimed at professionals, saw an 83% growth in South African users and now has about 1,1 million users. “South Africans have embraced social media as a core pillar of internet activity in this country along with email, news and banking,” Rudolph Muller wrote on mybroadband.co.za.
tweets a second were generated after Beyoncé revealed she was pregnant at the MTV Video Music Awards
Group discount sites take off
by its competitors. Media houses Avusa and Naspers launched their blockbuying sites, Zappon and Dealify respectively, then shut them down months later, mybroadband.co.za and memeburn.com reported.
of SA adults use the internet for social networking, up from 4% in 2009
Breaking an entry
THIS was the year of online records breaking. New Guinness World Records included: Lady Gaga for having the most Twitter fol lowers – 11,3 mil lion on 29 June 2011 (16,3 million by December). Justin Bieber’s video for his hit song Baby was named the most popular video of any kind online, with 463,8 million views on 16 Feb ruary pushing it into the record books. Prince William and Kate Middle ton’s nuptials had the most live streams for a single event with 72 million viewers tuning in online to watch the cou ple’s wedding. The amount Zynga players have raised for charity since the site’s launch in 2009
ElsolET JouBErT GrAphics24
Social media booms
are very active.
EVERYONE loves a bargain so the growth in discount-offering websites in South Africa has come as no surprise. Local company Twangoo was bought by US giant Groupon in January to become Groupon SA. “We all need treats even when things are a bit tight,” Wayne Gosling, CEO of Groupon SA, told howwemadeitinafrica.com. “For the consumer the advantages of buying on Groupon is the obvious valuefor-money deal and treat-yourself combination,” Loraine Stander wrote on the site. Groupon SA’s success wasn’t matched
A third are completely in active and only
This graphic takes a closer look at how South Africans used social media in 2011.
The number of Linkedin users in SA. This service is mainly for professionals. It grew by 83% over the past year.
600 000 blogs
73% MXit’s demo graphic complete ly differs from the popular belief it’s dominated by teenagers.
THE appeal of social networking in South Africa escalated this year, making social media-use the most popular online activity, according to a study by Fuseware and World Wide Worx. The South African Social Media Landscape 2011 survey measured local internet users’ social media use from August 2010 to August 2011. MXit occupied the top spot with about
Still the most popular social network in SA.
The estimated number of active MXit users MXit’s demographic: How many users are 18 years and older?
By the numbers
FASTEST GROWTH (in the second half of 2011)
The number of South Africans who used Twitter in 2011. That is a 20-fold growth in little more than a year. Not all Twitter users are active. Most people choose to follow others for fresh news. Just 40% of all Twitter users are active.
MXit and Facebook
HACKTIVIST group Anonymous showed they have the skill to hack into anything. They took credit for attacks on the Pentagon, News Corporation and Apple and threatened to take down Facebook for selling users’ details. It also took on an underground porn network in a campaign titled “Operation Darknet”. A website housing inappropriate children’s images, Lolita City, was attacked and the details of 1 500 users exposed, The Periscope Post wrote. web domains
By any other name
UNTIL June 2011 anyone interested in having a website had no choice but to conform to an internet naming convention list that includes.com, .net, .co, .web and .org. Then the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers relaxed the rules for what the end of websites should be. Now a domain name can be built using any combination of letters and numbers, including non-Latin characters, CNN Tech reported. From January 2012 companies, places and individuals will be given the opportunity to register names and category domains like .cars, .sports and .news, The Huffington Post noted.
of users on professional network LinkedIn are business-owners
who’s the boss?
Internet big boys Behind every awesome innovation there’s a face that shies
away from the spotlight. Who are these powerful captains of industry belonging to the internet moguls club? Here’s a look at 2011’s online movers and shakers Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook
THE brains behind what has become the biggest social network in the world is just 27 – and has already amassed a net worth of $17,5bn (R140bn), according to Forbes. Facebook, started in 2004, is now reportedly approaching 800 million users and has an estimated value of $50bn (R400bn). Zuckerberg was ranked 52nd on Forbes’ 400 global billionaires list and was the youngest in the US list at No 14.
Sergey Brin and Larry Page, The Google Guys
MOST of us know Sergey Brin (LEFT) and business partner Larry Page’s product as primarily a search engine but there are multiple pillars to Google, including its lucrative advertising arm. Google has a market capitalisation of $193bn (R1,5tr) after going public in 2004. The 38-yearolds’ individual wealth is an estimated $16,7bn (R133,6bn) each and they ranked 24th on Forbes’ 400 billionaires list and 15th on the US list. The Economist called Brin an Enlightenment Man for the company’s “universally accessible and useful” search functions.
Robin Li, founder and CEO of Baidu
CHINESE internet giant Baidu is in the palm of Robin Li, who founded it in 2000. The 43-yearold ranked second on the list of Forbes China’s 400 richest entrepreneurs with an estimated net worth of $9,2bn (R73,6bn), according to techorange.com. Baidu listed on the Nasdaq stock exchange in 2005, becoming the first Chinese company on the stock market’s Nasdaq-100 Index in 2007. The company, valued at $50bn (R400bn), is the top search engine in China, claiming 70% of the Chinese search market. challenger
Google+ goes live
IT MADE waves during its early stages, drawing in 25 million by-invitationonly users before it opened to the public. And when the virtual gates opened to everyone in late September, Google+’s unique browser hits reached 60 million before the hype died down, leaving it with little more than 40 million active users, Mashable noted. Features include live video chats that don’t require external providers like Skype and groups that allow users to decide who forms part of their online social interactions.
Former Facebook executive Sean Parker said Facebook’s clutter could drive a good chunk of fed-up Facebook “power-users” to Google+ and Twitter, The Telegraph reported.
The year by which 81% of postsecondary US students will take some or all of their classes online
Tweet for the stars
RISING from almost nowhere Twitter grew 20-fold in SA in just more than a year. “One of the drivers of the growth is the media obsession with the network,” Arthur Goldstuck, managing director of World Wide Worx, said. It became a playground for local celebrities, sports stars and even politicians. Some memorable rants and tweets: “All the YFM DJs I can double your salaries. Sit down or I will give you a loan.” – TV presenter Nonhle Thema. This started a fight with YFM jock and e.tv’s Club 808 presenter Dineo Ranaka. “You keep ignoring my questions. Next thing you’ll be begging me for a vote. What are you doing on Twitter if you avoid questions.” – Singer Simphiwe Dana taunted DA leader Helen Zille after Zille claimed the Western Cape was South Africa’s best-run province. “[Gaddafi was] a foster parent of airline terrorism and a horrifyingly bad dresser.” – DJ Gareth Cliff after Muammar Gaddafi’s death.
The percentage of traditional retail shoppers eBay is trying to get to shop online
active monthly users access Zynga games through various platforms including cellphones
five things to look out for in 2012
THE universe might be kind enough to let us have decent internet connection speeds. Telkom’s proposed sale of a 20% stake to Korea’s KT Telecoms and more undersea cables could give us a big boost. Commentators believe Facebook’s growth will lead to the privately owned company going public early in 2012. This would mean the world’s biggest social networking site will join tech giants like Oracle and Google on the New York Stock Exchange. Will 2012 be the year online advertising takes off? Internet buffs have yet to find a winning formula but kudos to Google – they’re making a killing with their AdWords programme. Keep an eye on Amazon and its ambitious plans to publish its own ebooks; in 2012 they might ruffle many feathers. The number of companies removing their apps from iTunes and creating in-browser apps – as Amazon did with their Kindle app and the FT did with theirs – could increase because of Apple’s 30% profitcut demand.
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The number of episodes of the now defunct online video show Diggnation
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98 Wonderful & wacky
Compiled bY muhammad Noormahomed
Not-so-little little ones
Prisoner of love
IF YOU’RE going to smuggle your hus band out of jail in a suitcase perhaps take one with wheels. Maria del Mar Arjona (19) of Mexico could’ve been successful in her attempt if she’d done that – cops became suspi cious when she battled to carry the suit case containing her husband, Juan Ramirez Tijerina, out of the prison. Maria was allowed to take the suit case into the cell because the couple had a scheduled conjugal visit, the BBC reported. But guards later opened it up and found him in the foetal position. tasty bling
What goes in . . .
Threeyearold Lu Hao weighs a hefty 59kg. Really. THE health of Lu Hao (3) of China and Suman Khatun (6) of India weighs heavily on their parents’ minds – the youngsters tip the scale at 59kg and 92kg respectively. Lu Hao’s father, Lu Yun cheng, said his son can eat three big bowls of rice in a sitting and cries nonstop if denied food, The Huffington Post reported. He weighed 2,6kg at birth but inexplica
bly gained weight rapidly when he was three months old, The Sun reported. Khatun takes the cake, however. She eats enough every week to feed her entire village and is still dissatis fied, often asking neighbours for food, ABC News noted. Both are considered med ical mysteries – doctors can not explain the unusual weight gain.
Not gay. Not a girl. Not in Damascus A BLOGGER – Gay Girl in Damascus – amassed a large following when she wrote about life in Syria during the gov ernment’s crackdown on Arab spring sup porters. Readers were gripped by her post ings – and horrified when she was kidnapped (her cousin blogged the news). News of the kidnapping spread rapidly – until the “lesbi an blogger of Damascus” revealed “she” was actually an American man named Tom MacMaster (ABOVE). MacMaster (40) created the alias Amina Arraf, CNN re ported. He eventually came clean with a blog entry “A Hoax that got way out of hand. I never meant to hurt anyone”, The Seattle Times noted. He hadn’t expected this kind of attention, he told report ers. But, defiantly, he added, “It created an important voice for issues I feel strongly about,” The Guardian wrote.
By the numbers
The number of live tarantulas a German man mailed to the US in a smuggling attempt
BETTER in than gone was what Wilfredo Gonza lez (30) thought when he swallow ed the $1 600 (R12 800) ring he’d stolen. Gonzalez was working on a re modelling project for an Illinois couple when he asked to use the bathroom, ABC News reported. When he returned the wife noticed her diamond ring was missing and her husband con fronted Gonzalez. After a tussle Gonzalez pulled the ring from his shoe, held it in his hand to keep it away from the couple then swal lowed it, kdvr.com reported. He was arrest ed and given medication to make it easier for him to pass the ring, which was “delivered” at 4am on 8 August. Gonzalez has been charged with theft.
She was arrested and he was returned to his cell, the Daily Beast noted. More successful at escaping (at first, at least) was Bongani Moyo, SA’s most wanted criminal. He escaped from Boksburg Prison in March and was rearrested but walked out of the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court in August. Moyo was left unshackled because of his crutches and, according to iol.co.za, he handed the crutches to one of his coaccused before walking out with a stack of papers. He was ar rested three weeks after the escape.
40000 The number of prescription pills a New York man sold from his ice cream truck
Louise Harris with boyfriend Dan Hill and her terriers. spoilt
MANY dog owners spoil their pooches once in a while. But some people take it to the extreme. Louise Harris (32) forked out £20 000 (R240 000) on the perfect wedding for her beloved Yorkshire Terrier, Lola, The Telegraph reported. According to allvoices. com, she invited 80 guests to the wedding bash, which was held in an outdoor marquee in the grounds of her mansion. Harris spent £1 000 (R12 000) on flowers, £3 000 (R36 000) on designers and £400 (R4 800) for a wed ding planner, the Daily Mail reported. She’s not alone in the petspoiling stakes. Lynn Ed wards, owner of a pet grooming shop in New York, told poughkeepsiejournal.com owners spend thousands on their animals. “Dogs are treated like people and our clients’ pets don’t just get groomed, they get spa treatments.” One dog at her shop gets pampered every two weeks and enjoys a facial, aromatherapy bath, conditioner, “pawd icure”, cologne spritz and teeth brushing. Being a bitch is not always a bad thing.
The amount US reality TV star Holly Madison’s breasts are insured for
dogs ate their owner in Jakarta, Indonesia after he abandoned them without food for two weeks
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