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The nation is mourning one of its most iconic news journalists after it was announced that Derek Watts have died.

Watts died at the age of 74 after a battle with skin cancer that eventually spread to his lungs. He was surrounded by loved ones.

The news broke when Carte Blanche, the investigative journalism TV show that Watts was the presenter of for 35 years, posted on social media that Watts had “passed away peacefully”.

“We’re all deeply saddened by the passing of our colleague and patriarch. Having been with Carte Blanche from the beginning, Derek became synonymous with the show, and we acknowledge that it’s largely because of him that we have become who we are.”

Tributes have been pouring in from all over the country. His former colleagues and co-presenters also shared their condolences.

Devi Sankaree Govender worked with Watts for 18 years: “There are many things that Derek Watts is going to be remembered for. The main thing for me is that he’ll be remembered for introducing the majority of us to bold brief investigative television journalism.”

On X, singer Karen Zoid posted: “What a guy. Always the first to greet. The first with a little joke or anecdote. One of the best journos we have ever seen in SA. A true raconteur & adventurer. And ma, he loved to talk about his family that he was so very devoted to. Love your forever, gentle giant.”

Image credit: News24

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