Up close and personal with SA’s leading faces of ‘Carte Blanche’

Up close and personal with SA’s leading faces of Carte Blanche. | Supplied

Up close and personal with SA’s leading faces of Carte Blanche. | Supplied

Published Mar 25, 2024


Presenter Claire Mawisa has been one of the faces of M-Net’s prime time investigative TV show, ‘Carte Blanche’, for over eight years.

The former Simunye TV presenter says the show had grown close to her heart through the myriad stories and issues it tackles.

‘Carte Blanche’, which celebrates 34 years since its debut on August 21, 1988, has become synonymous with exposing corruption, consumer issues, and current events.

The show has some well-known presenters and reporters, including the likes of Macfarlane Moleli, Masa Kekana, Erin Bates and Lourensa Eckard.

From human trafficking to spending time on the beach with the fossils, the show delves into a wide-range of topics ensuring South African viewers get a balanced view on issues.

Mawisa commented: “For anyone to join ‘Carte Blanche’ is a great honour due to the legacy of the show. I do not take this honour for granted and for me being part of the show for eight years has been amazing. There have been some great people who have come before us and they have set the standard high. South Africans rely on the stories we tell and in every thing we do, we try to do the best that we can.”

Her co-presenter Govan Whittles, speaking of one of the investigative stories he had tackled, told The Star that human trafficking had become a big problem for South Africa.

“It’s bad out there man. Human trafficking has become worse in South Africa. I got upset while doing the story. Even now I am upset. I was incredibly upset. We need to do better as a country to tackle the scourge of human trafficking,” he said.

The episode tackling the issue of human trafficking which was aired this past weekend, was a revelation said executive producer John Webb.

“Sunday’s show, perhaps more than most, reveals the anguish of what it is to live in South Africa… to be South African. An investigation into human trafficking happening in plain sight induces outrage and hopelessness in equal measure. How could it not, when we recognise our own children in the face of the young girl traded as a commodity by her mother and know that only circumstance has spared them such torment?

“And then, not yet at terms with her ordeal and its toll on someone so young, we meet a man called Benny with a passion for fossils and for life. In less than half an hour, a slice of our country in all its confounding, exasperating gloriousness,” Webb said, marvelling at the contrast.

The latest episode tracked the story of a 10-year-old girl who in November last year, was found during a routine traffic roadblock squashed inside the luggage compartment of a long-distance bus. She had been smuggled from Zimbabwe into South Africa under extreme conditions.

According to the producers of the show, this case was not unusual. In its month’s long investigation, ‘Carte Blanche’ unravelled cross-border human trafficking and the shadowy figures, known as transporters, who made it possible.

The show reveals the extent of this scourge and how undocumented foreign nationals are lured to South Africa from numerous African countries – many of them ending up on the streets of Johannesburg.