Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

2020 in pictures

About 200 people were killed and 6 000 injured when 2 700 tonnes of ammonium nitrate housed at the Port of Beirut exploded on August 4. Buildings were damaged leaving about 300 000 people homeless. With a magnitude of 3.3 the blast is considered the most powerful non-nuclear explosion ever. Photo: Daniel Carde/Getty Images

Pope Francis prays at the end of a limited public audience in The Vatican on September 30 for the ‘world to be healed not only of the virus, but also of inequality and injustice’. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

A man stands at the top of a hill to pick up a radio signal and listen to the news near the internally displaced persons camp of Bijombo in South Kivu Province, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, on October 9. Since February 2019, the highlands of internally displaced persons camp of Bijombo  have been the scene of clashes and retaliation attacks by armed groups. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, about one hundred villages have been destroyed and burned, several dozen civilians have been killed and thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes. Photo: Alexis Huguet/AFP

Migrants carry a boat across the beach of Gravelines near Dunkirk, France. The number of migrants crossing the English Channel in small inflatable boats spiralled during the European summer. According to authorities in northern France, some 6 200 migrants attempted the crossing between January 1 and August 31, compared with 2 294 migrants for the whole of 2019. Photo: Sameer Al-Doumy/AFP.

Volunteers from Sonko Rescue Team, a nongovernmental organisation privately funded by Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko, fumigate a street in a residential area to curb the spread of Covid-19 during a joint operation with Nairobi county on April 6. Photo: Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP.

A Ukrainian soldier rests in a trench on the front line with Russian-backed separatists near Krasnogorivka village in the Donetsk region. Two Ukrainian soldiers were killed on March 10. Large parts of Luhansk and Donetsk, in the Donbas region in eastern Ukraine, were seized by Russian-backed separatists in 2014 after Russia captured and annexed Ukraine’s Crimea region. Photo: Anatolii Stepanov/AFP

Soldiers escort a homeless woman to a temporary shelter in Johannesburg during the first Covid lockdown. Photo: Delwyn Verasamy.

Men line up at a food distribution centre in the Kwa Mai Mai area of the Johannesburg city centre, on May 6. Few of them are wearing masks. Photo: Marco Longari/AFP.

Every morning and evening at the start of the pandemic Gonzaga Yiga, a local leader in Kampala, Uganda, stands on the tallest building in the area and appeals to people to take steps to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Photo: Badru Katumba/AFP

United States President Donald Trump arrives for a Make America Great Again rally in Michigan on November 2. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP.

Demonstrators light up their cell phones during a protest on Interstate 64 on September 24 in St Louis, Missouri. Protests have been taking place nationwide in response to the Kentucky grand jury’s determination of no charges against the officers involved in the death of Breonna Taylor. Photo: Michael B Thomas/Getty Images.

A Donald Trump supporter clashes with a demonstrator at Black Lives Matter plaza across from the White House on election day, November 3. Trump lost the election to Joe Biden but seems not to have accepted this fact. Photo: Olivier Douliery/AFP 

In January, construction workers excavated the site of a 1 000-bed field hospital that was built to accommodate the increasing number of coronavirus patients in Wuhan, Hubei province, China. The hospital, which was completed in less than two weeks, was built because others in the province were full of Covid-19 patients. Photo: Getty Images

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.

Paul Botes
Guest Author

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

Zondo commission: 10 unanswered questions

Zuma went to jail rather than testify. Some who did told blatant lies. Who decided Cabinet appointments and how much money was carried out of Saxonwold?

Local elections: Water tops the agenda in Limpopo’s dry villages

People in the Fetakgomo Tubatse local municipality, who have to collect water from Motse River, are backing independent candidates because they’re tired of parties’ election promises

More top stories

‘These people are barbarians’: Police torture in Southern Africa

In Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe torture is used to extract information, elicit confessions, punish or sometimes for sadistic reasons

COP26 touted to resolve long standing issues on climate debt

Only 16% of losses in South Africa from weather-related disasters in the past four decades were covered by insurers, leaving governments and communities unable to build back

Conservation boosts cattle farmers

By adopting sound grazing practices livestock owners get access to markets in a foot-and-mouth disease red zone near the Kruger National Park

Most climate science is written by white men

In deciding how the world responds to the climate crisis, policymakers rely on research that tends to be written predominantly by men in the Global North

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…