MyBroadband explains that domains are renewed annually and the public records of Google.co.za reveal that it was first registered on 25 June 2001.
The registrar on record for the domain is MarkMonitor and the registrar expiration date was on 25 June 2022.
Registrars offer automatic renewal, allowing them to renew domains on their customers' behalf and some registrars allow for renewals several years in advance.
Google.co.za should be reactivated if Google pays MarkMonitor.
"Industry sources with knowledge of South Africa’s domain registration systems confirmed that this interpretation of the public data was the most likely explanation," MyBroadband stated.