Tributes have continued to pour in for the late journalist and TV presenter Derek Watts who died on Tuesday after a battle with cancer.
He was 74.
Government joined those who sent tributes to the broadcast giant‚ saying the Carte Blanche presenter was “one of the nation’s most esteemed and respected journalists”.
It said Watts’ death “leaves a big void in the realm of journalism‚ where his dedication‚ integrity and storytelling skills left an enduring mark on the hearts and minds of South Africans and beyond”.
Acting director-general of the GCIS Nomonde Mnukwa said: “Derek Watts was more than just a journalist‚ he was a voice of reason and an advocate for transparency and accountability.
“His dedication to journalistic ethics‚ courage in uncovering hidden truths and commitment to holding those in power accountable are values that will continue to inspire generations to come.”
The government conveyed its condolences to Watts’ family‚ friends and colleagues.
Colleagues and fellow journalists of the Carte Blanche presenter took to the socials to express their grief.
Fellow Carte Blanche presenter Masa Kekana said she was shattered by Watts’ passing.
Shattered ????this is really painful ???? pic.twitter.com/OnPtFybgdA
— Masa Kekana (@MasaKekana) August 22, 2023
Journalist Karyn Maughan described Watts as a “gentle giant” and thanked him for his role in shaping journalism.
“Thank you for the way you led your life and your incredible journalism. Thank you for being brave and kind. And thank you for always believing that things should be better‚” she wrote on Twitter.
Former public protector Thuli Madonsela described Watts’ passing as “too soon”.
“Gone too soon gentle giant. Tough on crooks yet gracious at every instance. Heartfelt condolences to the family‚ friends‚ colleagues and fellow fans of Derek Watts‚” she wrote.
Political parties ActionSA‚ IFP and the DA were among those who mourned Watts’ death‚ saying it marked the end of an era.
“His contributions to journalism and broadcasting in South Africa have left a lasting impact‚ and he will be remembered for his dedication to honest reporting and storytelling‚” ActionSA said.
Former television personality Felicia Mabuza-Suttle also paid tribute to Watts.
Sad to learn about passing of #DerekWatts.
I use this old image of Derek & #RudaLandman because they were the 1st to interview me on SA tv in 1990. @carteblanchetv continues to rule. That's credit to Derek & the team.@clairemawisa & @MasaKekana stay strong my girls. #RIPlegend. pic.twitter.com/NQNdqvtVj5
— Felicia Mabuza-Suttle (@Feliciamabuza) August 22, 2023
Businessman Vusi Thembekwayo expressed his respect for Watts‚ labelling him a “legend”.
I’ve had the incredible privilege of work with and sharing the stage with Derek Watts.
Derek was a gentleman.
And a credit to the tenacious nature of South Africa.
Rest In Peace Legend.
— VT (@VusiThembekwayo) August 22, 2023
Watts is survived by his wife Belinda and their two children Tyrone and Kirstin.
Source: ARENA Holdings.