Debora Patta says goodbye

2013-05-15 11:31
Thinus Ferreira
Cape Town – The indomitable TV news anchor Debora Patta signed off from 3rd Degree for the last time on Tuesday night and brought to a close the long-running current affairs programme on she pioneered.

Patta said she was honoured to have been with 3rd Degree for 13 years and thanked the South African viewing public, warning them – and the press – of the importance of good investigative journalism, encouraging them to keep "shining a light" to change the world.

"After 13 years on air, 3rd Degree is coming to an end. It's been an incredible challenge and an absolute pleasure to have anchored this show," Patta told viewers. "I have worked with some of the finest people in the business and I am honoured to have worked with every single one of you both on and off air.

Repeats suddenly pulled

"Thank you to all the loyal 3rd Degree viewers. You remain our inspiration and we thank you for allowing us to tell your incredible stories. Good investigative journalism is crucial for the fabric of our democracy. I salute everyone who continues to speak truth to power, to shine a light, to get behind the official facade and to change the world, one story at a time. Goodbye."

The final episode of 3rd Degree looked back at the first 3rd Degree broadcast in May 2000 with highlights of the show over the years and a look at the wide range of stories that was covered.

Meanwhile, hours before the final episode broadcast, suddenly pulled all repeats of 3rd Degree from the schedule for the coming week and didn't respond to media enquiries as to why this was done.

Despite multiple enquiries, has not yet announced what would be filling 3rd Degree's primetime timeslot from next Tuesday.

On 7 May, made the shock announcement via its sister news channel eNCA that Patta had quit the show, effectively bringing the show's run on the two channels to and end.

Put on the map

3rd Degree premiered on 11 May 2000 on the then fledgling, South Africa's first commercial free-to-air TV station which was in desperate need of local programming with gravitas, buzz-making programming and some type of current affairs magazine show.

Patta stepped forward and brazenly and boldly led a team charting a new and unique current affairs type investigative magazine show.

From the outset 3rd Degree and Patta knew that they couldn't be Carte Blanche – the premier investigative and current affairs show on M-Net – had neither the budget nor the willingness to support such a bold new venture and the then eNews did not have the experienced in-house journalists and production staff at that time.

So 3rd Degree moulded itself out of its own new mould – a feisty and utterly fearless Patta tackling stories with a team of producers in a take-no-prisoners approach, asking tough questions and demanding satisfying answers.

This approach has not always been popular, with many viewers left startled by Patta's form of no-holds-barred journalism but she earned a grudging respect for her doggedness and advocating the SA public's right to know the truth.


  • jeremy thorpe - 2013-05-15 11:49

    Every TV show has to have it's own identity - moulded around its content and presenters. So it wouldn't, in any event, have worked for 3rd Degree to try to copy Carte Blanche or Special Assignment. It may not have had a huge budget initially, but to suggest 3rd Degree didn't have experienced journalists is a bit naive. Almost all the initial eTV journos were ex-702 with a few ex-SABC. Nonetheless, good luck to Debora. Both at 702 and at eTV, she's made her mark - and I hope her legacy will be respected in whatever current affairs programme replaces 3rd Degree.

      Marco Hudson - 2013-05-15 16:16

      Goodbye Deborah.......and good riddance!

  • Coen Venter - 2013-05-15 11:52

    wont miss her

  • Jonathan Mogale - 2013-05-15 11:53

    She ruffled a few feathers.....

  • Adri Mbali Noble - 2013-05-15 11:54

    Glad she is leaving! She was overrated. Thanks for leaving.!!!!!!

  • Dean Barker - 2013-05-15 12:04

    Wishing Debra all of the best on her new endeavours. She was a gutsy journalist who always tried her best to get to the truth.Some may not like her aggressive style of interviewing but that’s what was required when we required answers.

  • Sakhiwo - 2013-05-15 12:08

    Debora Patta shall always have space in the field of journalism.Some they accused her of being anti-democratic government but they misjudged her.

  • nkululeko.zulu.5 - 2013-05-15 12:10

    What a big sigh of relief from ANC!!!!!!!!!!

  • Gary Doyle - 2013-05-15 12:13

    She looked impressive and got a kick from interviewing the weak or the not too bright but looked like an idiot when out of her league. Will never be anything like Devi from Carte Blanche.

      Khomotjo Cataleya Chuene - 2013-05-15 14:18

      No need to compare,everyone has their own unique way of doing things.

  • Phindile Zina - 2013-05-15 12:19

    She'll definitely be missed for her brave investigative journalism, she's one of the best...

  • Nigel Vos - 2013-05-15 12:29

    A highly self opinionated person who seldom listened or took on board what was actually said by her victims. I am glad she has gone and I hope she is replaced with someone who is more reasonable and has a more analytical style.

      James Smythe - 2013-05-15 16:05

      Who except a moron would calmly listen or take on board what are obvious lies? Her job was to get the truth. The meek will never achieve that by listening politely! To see how things have to be done, examine some of the great interviewers of the past on British and US TV who were totally unconcerned for the comfort and ease of the liars, cheats and thieves they confronted - way to go!

      Nigel Vos - 2013-05-15 18:18

      James - You missed what I was saying by a mile. No reasonable person assumes someone is guilty just because someone is attacking them and no reasonable person blunders forth and ignors valid information given to them just to put up a show.

  • Bra N'Darkie - 2013-05-15 12:31

    Highlight of the show for me was that episode with the lil girl who had an aging disease. Inspirational stuff

  • Jc An - 2013-05-15 12:35

    Good riddens - thanks for going - try not to let the door hit you on the way out!

  • Wade Balsdon - 2013-05-15 12:42

    I think that Debra rocked! I loved her aggressive approach when she was interviewing people. I hope that she goes from strength to strength.

  • Jay Rammekwa - 2013-05-15 12:44 are we gonna expose Zuma or anc???they must be over the moon right now rejoicing

  • Derek Smith - 2013-05-15 12:52

    Your leaving Debra is a very generous gesture to mankind...pls dont make any big effort in returning...

  • Ledger Barnard Colleen - 2013-05-15 13:03

    Well done, good job Debora, wishing you all the best. Going to be hard to fill your shoes I am sure. Whatever you are going to do in the future, keep up the good work and thanks for a very interesting, informative and much needed show.

  • Issa Kabudula - 2013-05-15 13:04

    You have experience and you can own a media house - and the rest of us will miss the show, it was; 1. imformative 2. educative 3. watchable 4. Helpful to many and 5. Blood shaking. Good by mtombazane. Halala Debora halalalala!

  • Serina Gounden - 2013-05-15 13:05

    Debra Patta is my hero!

  • Peter Gugelmin - 2013-05-15 13:08

    3rd Degree was opinionated and shallow. Research could always have been far better. How did I get to that opinion? I compared it to similar programs on CNN, Al Jazeera, etc.

  • Stella Tsabedze - 2013-05-15 13:11


  • Arthur Salvado - 2013-05-15 13:23

    Thank you Debora. An excellent job done. You will be missed.

  • Keith Marshall - 2013-05-15 13:32

    Sorry you are going Debora, but 3rd Degree had run it's course. My wife and I personally enjoy the Justice Factor on Sunday mornings, he is a political analyst and is hard hitting. His interview chair is waiting for Zuma. On the whole well done Debora and good luck.

  • Madulla Nkosi - 2013-05-15 13:36

    Lost ALL respect for this skunk when she harangued a young lady student at UFS. She would never dare to do this to someone like Patricia De Lille. Patta was totally smitten during her interview with Julius Malema and virtually licked his balls during the time they were together. Thanks for leaving Debora, you won't be missed......

  • Mfundo Thela - 2013-05-15 13:50

    What??? Now you decide to quit after what you did to me Said Julius Malema

  • Chuene Matsobane - 2013-05-15 13:54

    Loss to the investigative jounarlism family .We will remember you ,we the laymen.

  • Gail Welman - 2013-05-15 14:04

    Oops. She is no longer the flavour of the month with the powers that be. I wonder how it feels to be on the other end of the big stick she so liked to wield. While I agree with Jeremy Thorpe that every show has its own identity, it is not journalism when you are being horrible.

  • Tiyani Matlharhini Balloy - 2013-05-15 14:29

    Damn! I used to love the show,especially when Debora exposes racists boere from North West,especially the supporters of AWB. I can't believe these boere who are still full of Apartheid still exist in this Raindow nation. Maybe they should just ship back to Holland if they don't wanna live with African people. We are fine without them.

  • Marlon Pillay - 2013-05-15 14:52

    I'm sure there's jubilation in the Shaik households.

  • Andre Evans - 2013-05-15 15:05

    The airwaves will be better now that this hound is gone...RIP Debs

  • Chreamz George - 2013-05-15 15:34

    She was the face of E-TV, in terms of beaking news reporting. Those who are throwing their anger or rejoicing for her exit on E-TV, were once, if not twice caught red-handed in an act of unlawfulness by her exposee. Most of you have hatred over her, because she barely understood Afrikaans.

  • James Smythe - 2013-05-15 16:02

    Her kind of hard-hitting,dogged TV expose is what we need much more of in SA - it is rarely seen on SABC - make that NEVER seen on SABC - for fear of offending the masters of those government channels! For example look at what 'Special Assigment' has become over the past several years - an anodyne magazine-type programme, steadfastly averting it's eyes from anything that shows what the ANC is doing to wreck the country. Only a strong and abrasive personality, not afraid of conflict situations, can accomplish this sort of investigation - well done Debora and good luck for the future!

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2013-05-15 17:34

    Not a nice person. I would never invite her to a tea party. Go Patta Patta somewhere else Debbie dearest.

  • Mlungisi Ben Ncube - 2013-05-17 11:13

    she was juss a sorry racist, overated and an actor

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