ZA NEWS Network’s exciting fifth season kicks off on TopTV’s flagship channel, Top One, on Sunday, August 5 bringing you the most fun you can have with politics and current affairs, entertainment, sport and financial news.

The weekly show will be bigger and better than ever before with several new characters joining our already famous and infamous gathering of newsworthy characters.

We are thrilled to introduce Debora Patta, our intrepid host of “180 Degrees” who will team up with our stalwart Tim Modise as a new anchor for the new season.

Also joining us is Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe as well as the President’s insatiable nephew, Khulubuse Zuma, who will sometimes double up as ZANEWS Network’s financial expert. Republican presidential hopeful, Mitt Romney, has also been brought to life to keep local viewers up-to-date on the hotly contested US elections. Mitt joins our other American characters President Obama, former president Bill Clinton, tycoon Donald Trump, singers Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga and political has-been Sarah Palin.

ZANEWS is a pioneering South African puppet-based satirical show that has been delighting audiences since 2009. It follows in the tradition of great contemporary shows such as the British television series ‘Spitting Image’, which enjoyed great success during the Conservative ruled era of the 80s and 90s, and the French equivalent ‘Les Guignols’ is still a popular television series.

ZANEWS is not the only African show of its kind, as Kenya produces ‘The XYZ Show’ but what all of these shows do have in common is that they are produced locally for a local audience with puppet caricatures of mostly local politicians, celebrities and the everyman with the aim of holding a mirror to their respective societies so that the audience can look, laugh and learn.

ZANEWS keeps an ear close to the ground using a network of informed political brains and using the skills of some of the country’s most accomplished comedy writers. We bring our audience a mix of the latest and most controversial current events in a witty and unorthodox way – parodying the formulaic style of media broadcasting in order to remind people that it is possible to engage humorously with societal issues that can often be a source of tension and frustration.

From Julius Malema’s inane ramblings to Jacob Zuma’s soothsaying  and Helen Zille’s calculated tirades, ZA News captures the strange, rainbow-coloured wilderness of South African politics in our own quirky, latexed fashion. With puppets designed by renowned satirical cartoonist Zapiro, ZA News offers a scathing yet side-splitting take on the local milieu of South African life. No one is safe, but everyone is welcome. And as someone once said, humour is the best pesticide.

Season Five of ZANEWS marks several changes to South Africa’s best-loved satirical brand including the launch of a revamped website which will become a one-stop portal for satire in this country. The ZANEWS Network will showcase the writing of some of South Africa’s top columnists, or agents provocateurs as well prefer to call them, including Ndumiso Ncgobo, Ben Trovato, Chester Missing (the famous political analyst from the popular LNN Live hosted by comedian Loyiso Gola) and Rebecca Davis.

We will also feature cartoons from Zapiro as well as other local and African cartoonists as well as the hugely popular, South Africa’s answer to The Onion. ZANEWS Network will also aim to encourage user-generated content to widen the context and reference point s and to nationalize the great, untapped humour recourse that exists in South Africa.

ZANEWS Producer and Director Thierry Cassuto, had this to say: “Our puppets are very happy to have a weekly slot on television at last. Laughter and satire are the best antidote to doom and gloom that may result from watching other well known Sunday night shows.”

The secret to the ongoing ZA News success story is that the show and the team laugh at everything (and everyone) so that the world is a happier place every day. Don’t miss ZA News on Top One (ch.150) at 9:00 pm from Sunday 11 and repeat on Tuesday at 8:30 pm and  11:30 pm.


TopTV is an affordable satellite TV network, proudly bringing digital TV into more homes than ever before across the country.

TopTV offers subscribers seven different pricing options ranging from R99 to R269 per month. Channels on offer include those created specifically by TopTV with content sourced both locally and internationally, including Top Movies, Top One, Top Gospel and Top Crime, as well as a range of highly sought-after international channels from outside suppliers. Nine locally developed channels will offer audiences a mix of local and international flavours.

Also available to subscribers for an additional R69 p/m is Top Star, TopTV’s Indian bouquet, which includes Star Plus, Star Gold, Vijay and Channel V.

Contact: Melinda Connor – 011 582 8432 / 083 254 1004 /

ZANEWS is produced by Both Worlds, a Cape Town based production company investing in film, tv, and digital content, hiring, training, and developing our local diverse talents and creativity, with the financial assistance of the Open Society Foundation SA, the Omidyar Network, Hivos and the Department of Trade and Industry South Africa.

Contact: Nazeera Hartley – 021 801 1256 (