2012: The year that was
A number of news events shocked South Africa but the Marikana tragedy topped them all.
JOHANNESBURG - As we bid farewell to 2012. dramatic events like the Marikana tragedy and the implementation of controversial e-toll system still linger in the minds of many.
Political parties and analysts are in agreement that the Marikana bloodbath was one of the main events of 2012.
University of Johannesburg academic Professor Adam Habib said South Africa will never be the same again after the gunning down of 34 Lonmin miners by a koppie in Wonderkop, North West.
"I think the country, one way or the other, is irreparably damaged."
Lonmin miners downed tools in August to protest for higher wages. The workers were demanding an average salary of R12,500 and better working conditions.
Overall, the violent demonstrations claimed the lives of more than 40 people, including police officers and a security guard.
Another academic, Steven Friedman, said 2012 might be the year that exposed deeply rooted issues in South Africa.
"It really was a year in which it became absolutely clear that if we are going to deal with our problems in this society, it can't be up to one institution."
A commission of inquiry was established by President Jacob Zuma to investigate if police were justified to maximum force when dispersing the miners.
POLITICAL PARTIES REFLECT ON 2012
African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe said was not all doom and gloom in 2012.
"The life expectancy in South Africa has improved from 50 years to 60 years."
Democratic Alliance Deputy Federal Chairperson Mmusi Maimane said 2012 proved to be a year in which South Africans from all works of life learned to stand together and speak truth to power.
"E-tolls have the potential to destabilise all of us as South Africans from all walks of life, whether rich or poor."
Earlier in December, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed the Opposition to Urban Tolling Alliance's application to have e-tolling in Gauteng scrapped, giving the controversial project the green light.
E-tolling is expected to go live early in 2013.
Under the project, Gauteng motorists will be expected to fork out some 30 cents per kilometre for the use of upgraded highways.
HIGH PROFILE DEATHS
South Africa also lost a number of high profile people, including Public Service and Administration Minister Roy Padayachee, veteran photographer Alf Kumalo and former journalist Zwelakhe Sisulu to name a few.
Media24 Chairperson Professor Jakes Gerwel and former Chief Constitutional Court chief justice Arthur Chaskalson also recently died.