Page views: 80 200
It's the story every respectable news organisation in the country was chasing – the truth behind President Jacob Zuma's Nkandla homestead. Was this an abuse of state resources, and how much did Zuma know? The M&G Centre for Investigative Journalism cracked the story first by releasing details of public protector Thuli Madonsela's provisional report into the Nkandla scandal, underpinned by 12 000 documents obtained through the Protection of Access to Information Act. The report said Zuma misled Parliament earlier this year when he defended the development, and Madonsela recommended that the president pay back money spent on security upgrades. While this story got just over 80 000 hits, the combined tally of stories related to this Nkandla exposé reached over 150 000.
Page views: 64 000
Author: Olivia Gibbs
Nelson Mandela, Oscar Pistorius and the Guptagate scandal were no match for the outlier that became the second most-read story on the site for 2013 once the Reddit online community got a hold of it. Olivia Gibbs delivered a feature piece on a backyard gym set up by a 65-year-old bodybuilder to give young gangsters in a crime-ridden township in the Strand a place to work out.
Page views: 53 700
Author: Tiisetso Motsoeneng, Reuters
This was the year that Oscar Pistorius ate the news. Fifteen of the top 50 pages clicked concerned Pistorius, who was accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in February. These stories alone contributed over 264 000 views on the site.
Page views: 48 800
Author: Amelia Hunter, gadget.co.za
Perhaps it was the post-Christmas boom that saw readers flocking to read about the top 10 photo-editing apps. We never promised that this round-up would make sense. What's clear is that our readers love technology, and here's the proof.
Page views: 37 000
Authors: Phillip de Wet, Mmanaledi Mataboge, and Glynnis Underhill
Friends and family of the controversial Gupta family, who would be attending a lavish ceremony at Sun City, landed a chartered flight at one of the country's most prized military sites – Waterkloof Air Base. Government ministers scrambled to deny any link between the supposedly unauthorised landing and President Zuma.
Page views: 35 700
Authors: AmaBhungane reporters
The war in the Central African Republic hit home in the most tragic way when 13 South African National Defence Force members were killed during clashes with Seleka rebels. The fallout at home and abroad was overwhelming, with many calling for Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula to be fired. Later, as this story revealed, it emerged that the lure of arms deals and diamonds –and possibly other mineral resources – sucked the ANC into the Central African Republic.
Page views: 34 000
Author: Heidi Swart
This sobering analysis of the rape and murder of Anene Booysens ran not long after after the rape and murder of an Indian student in New Delhi in December sparked worldwide outrage.
Page views: 31 000
Authors: Sarah Evans, Khuthala Nandipha
South Africans held their breath this year as the health of Nelson Mandela deteriorated. His hospitalisation in June had media scrumming down outside the Pretoria hospital, with some outlets renting out balconies with direct line of sight to the hospital entrance. Then came the family saga over burial rights.
Other top read stories this year, with between 11 000 and 18 000 views each, included:
Born in the RSA – and big in the USA by Rowan Philp
On South Africans who have made their mark in the US.
Diary of incest rips SA family apart by Rowan Philp
On a legal battle in the US involving a South African family.
Australian study points to a potential cure for Aids, by Amy Coopes
On research into a potential cure for Aids.
Respected journalist Mandy Roussouw dies
On the sudden death of beloved former M&G reporter Mandy Roussouw.
The Gupta wedding in pictures
Visuals from the Gupta wedding