Julius Malema's year was more dramatic than most people's. Photo Themba Maseko
Information hungry South Africans had no reason to complain during 2011 as the year produced a veritable feast of newsworthy stories.
Here are some of the big stories:
January: (Mandela) Former president Nelson Mandela is admitted to Milpark hospital with an acute respiratory infection. He is discharged two days later to receive home-based care.
April: (Tatane) Eight policemen are arrested for the murder of Ficksburg teacher Andries Tatane. Tatane was killed during a violent service delivery protest. Reportedly, he was trying to help an elderly man when he was attacked.
June: (Fire) Twelve people die and 34 are injured in a fire at a home for the aged and the mentally challenged and the elderly in Springs.
August: (Plane crash) Thirteen people die in a twin plane crash near Tzaneen following an air show.
August: (Malema) Violence erupts as ANC Youth League president Julius Malema's disciplinary hearing begins at the ANC headquarters, Luthuli House. In protests in the street outside, journalists are injured and groped. Downtown Johannesburg resembles a war zone.
September: (Malema) ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is found guilty of hate speech after singing the so-called "shoot the boer" song at public rallies. An appeal by the suspended ANCYL leader is pending.
September: (Dewani) A British court signs an extradition order for honeymoon murder accused Shrien Dewani to stand trial in South Africa for his wife Anni's murder. Dewani is currently appealing the decision.
September: (Roux) Rugby player Bees Roux is convicted of culpable homicide after beating and killing a Pretoria metro police officer. His sentence was suspended for five years and he was dismissed from the Blue Bulls rugby team. Roux is to pay the officer's family a lump sum.
October: (Tutu) Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu celebrates his 80th birthday.
October: (Dalai Lama) The Dalai Lama cancels his trip to South Africa after he is not granted a visa in time to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations.
October: (ANCYL march) Thousands of ANC Youth League supporters walk from Johannesburg to Pretoria in support of economic freedom from capitalism.
October: (Cabinet) President Jacob Zuma fires Public Works Minister Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde and Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Sicelo Shiceka. Both had been implicated in wrongdoing by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.
October: (Cele) President Jacob Zuma suspends national police commissioner Bheki Cele following a public protector inquiry into police lease deals in Pretoria and Durban. He is replaced in the interim by Lt-Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.
October: (Arms deal) President Jacob Zuma announces the appointment of a board of inquiry to investigate the arms deal.
October: (Terre'Blanche) The High Court sitting in Ventersdorp hears how rightwing leader Eugene Terre'Blanche was beaten and hacked to death, allegedly by two farm workers in 2010. The trial continues.
November: (Malema) ANC Youth League president Julius Malema is suspended and told to vacate his position. An ANC disciplinary hearing finds him, and five others, guilty of provoking divisions within the ruling party and of bringing the organisation into disrepute.
November: (Climate) South Africa hosts the 17th Conference of Parties (Cop17) to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate Change.
November: (Infobill) The controversial Protection of State Information Bill is approved by the National Assembly and referred to the National Council of Provinces.
December: (Selebi) Disgraced former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi reports to prison to a start a 15-year jail term for corruption after accepting money from convicted drug trafficker Glenn Agliotti. Doctors continue to monitor him in hospital after an apparent stroke.
December: (Rhinos) SA National Parks announces an increase of 21.6% in the number of rhinos poached in 2011, from 333 in 2010 to 405.
December: (Humphreys) Taxi driver Jacob Humphreys is found guilty of murdering 10 children when his minibus was hit by a train outside Cape Town in 2010.
December: (Drugs) Chinese authorities execute South African national Janice Linden for smuggling "tik" into the country. She dies by lethal injection despite pleas from SA.
December: (Drugs) South African student and alleged drug mule Nolubabalo Nobanda is arrested in Thailand for hiding cocaine in her dreadlocks.
December: (Infobill) Public Protector Thuli Madonsela announces she will make submissions to the National Council of Provinces over concerns about why a public interest defence clause in the controversial Protection of State Information Bill had been left out.
December: (Heath) Willem Heath resigns as head of the Special Investigating Unit after less than a month on the job, following comments in City Press about former president Thabo Mbeki.