Derek Watts left a deep legacy on the entire journalism and media field. Image: Twitter via @carteblanchetv

Derek Watts left a deep legacy on the entire journalism and media field. Image: Twitter via @carteblanchetv

Derek Watts: Celebrating the career legacy of a journalism legend

Derek Watts has contributed greatly to journalism, especially through his work on Carte Blanche. His legacy has left a deep mark .

Derek Watts left a deep legacy on the entire journalism and media field. Image: Twitter via @carteblanchetv

Derek Watts left a deep legacy on the entire journalism and media field. Image: Twitter via @carteblanchetv

Veteran journalist and anchor on Carte Blanche, South Africa’s investigative journalism television series, Derek Watts, has passed away at the age of 74, let’s take a look and reflect on his remarkable career as a journalist and anchor on Carte Blanche.

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His journey in journalism began in 1985 when he first appeared on South African television as a sports anchor. Little did anyone know that Derek would become a beloved figure in the hearts of many South Africans.

Derek Watts’s legacy is deeply intertwined with his work on Carte Blanche. Carte Blanche is a current affairs television program that has been a beacon of investigative journalism since its inception in 1988.

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Over the years, Derek took viewers on a captivating journey through his stories. He went from trekking alongside primate hunters in Cameroon to reporting on the land grabs and clashes in Zimbabwe. He even ventured into the heart of Rwanda to find gorillas.

One of the remarkable aspects of Derek’s storytelling was his ability to connect with ordinary people. He had a gift in turning their life stories into gripping narratives. His reporting was marked by sincerity, kindness, and at times, a touch of humor. This is how he became endearing to audiences across the nation.

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3. Killer Heart Gene


Aside from his illustrious career on Carte Blanche, Derek also delved into various other domains, including MC work, motoring, and sports journalism. His versatility in the field of journalism showcased his passion for storytelling and his dedication to bringing important issues to the forefront.

Some of the accolades that Carte Blanche and its dedicated team, including Derek Watts, have received over the years include SAFTA (South African Film and Television Awards) for Best Current Affairs Program, Vodacom Journalist of the Year awards, Genesis Awards, and many more.

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One notable achievement was the extended 90-minute broadcast in 2020 that concluded Women’s Month, shedding light on the pressing issue of gender-based violence. It celebrated the resilience of women and men who fight for justice, a testament to Carte Blanche’s commitment to meaningful storytelling.

Derek Watts’s impact on South African journalism extended far beyond the screen. He became an institution, a role model, and an inspiration for aspiring journalists. His dedication to his craft and his genuine care for the people and stories he covered set him apart as a true icon.


As we bid farewell to Derek Watts, we remember not only the stories he told but also the way he told them—with authenticity, compassion, and a commitment to truth. South Africa has lost a journalism giant, but his legacy will continue to inspire generations of journalists to come. Derek Watts, you will be dearly missed, but your storytelling spirit will live on in the hearts of all who were touched by your work.