Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Your favourite multimedia this year

It’s been a year of non-stop news and our multimedia team has been on top of it all every step of the way. We’ve produced hundreds of pieces of multimedia since the department was formed two years ago — but which pieces captured your attention? Read our round-up of the five most watched multimedia pieces in 2011.

1) Transcend and Transgress
This provocative slideshow may have been published in January 2010, but its still going strong thanks to renewed interest following the tragic death of its subject: artist Leon Botha. It was our top watched piece of multimedia this year with 21600 views, bringing the total to 75397 since it was published. The slideshow shows haunting and phantasmagorical images taken of Botha, one of the world’s longest surviving Progeria sufferers. The disease causes premature aging as one of its effects. He and acclaimed South African photographer Gordon Clark embarked on a collaborative and artistic adventure, depicting Botha in theatrical projections of how society might see him, simultaneously exploring questions of destiny and immortality to produce the powerful photo series ‘Who Am I? Transgressions’. Botha, who was popular with fans of the band Die Antwoord thanks to an appearance in one of their first videos, died earlier in June as the disease finally claimed him at the age of 26.

2) The 10 sayings of president Malema
Julius Malema could well be crowned newsmaker of the 2011 thanks to a rollercoaster year for the embattled youth leader. After covering the league’s weighty national conference for three days straight in June, multimedia editor Lauren Clifford-Holmes decided the audience needed something a tad lighter. Cue “The 10 sayings of president Malema” — the bizarre and hilarious sound bytes that made their way into Malema’s closing address, including such gems as: “Capital suffers from a mind of a rat”. It turns out she was right — our audiences like their youth leaders to be as entertaining as possible.

3) Busted, but where are they now?
While this piece was only published this month, it rocketed to near the top of the multimedia charts at number three. The media may excel at uncovering the dodgy dealings of corrupt business people and politicians, but these individuals often fall off the news agenda while we move on to the next big story. We took some time out as part of our end of year special to review the year’s biggest fish fried for corruption in 2011 — and what’s happened to them since.

4) Inside the ANC gala dinner
Proving that our audiences like to see the lighter side of politics — and what goes on behind the scenes — our inside take on the ANC’s 99th birthday celebration turned out to be a hit. Coming in at number four, we discovered what an ANC gala dinner looks like: Who wears what, what food is served, who sits with whom and the inside gossip.

5) The rise and fall of Julius Malema
Yes, we can’t believe it either — only two Malema pieces in our top multimedia list of the year? We thank the news gods, in a year dominated by the youth league leader. A recent piece, “The rise and fall of Julius Malema” was published when interest in Juju, as he is affectionately known, was at an all time high with news pending of his suspension. Before the outcome of Julius Malema’s disciplinary hearing was announced, we looked back at his humble beginnings and his rapid rise to the upper echelons of SA politics. Soon after, his star was sideswiped by the ANC disciplinary committee’s ruling: A five-year suspension from the ruling party. The news is still developing as Malema looks to appeal the suspension, but the slideshow has remained a firm favourite with audiences.

For more multimedia from our award-winning team, go to

View more highlights of the year that was in our special report.

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

Basic web lessons for South Africa: Government hacks point to...

Recent cyberattacks at the department of justice and the space agency highlight the extent of our naïveté

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

More top stories

Farmers squeezed by big retailers

It may be beneficial for consumers when supermarkets push to get the lowest price from suppliers, but it can harm the farmers

Sisters pave the way with ecobricks

The durable bricks are made from 30% recycled plastic, some of which they collect from a network of 50 waste pickers

If the inflation-driving supply strain in the US lasts, it...

In South Africa, a strong trade surplus, buoyed by robust commodity prices, will cushion our economy against pressure arising from US policy

Covid-19: No vaccine booster shots needed yet

Scientists agree it is important to get most of the population vaccinated before giving booster jabs

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…