Devi Sankaree Govender bids Carte Blanche a fond farewell.
After eighteen years of chasing crooks, delving deep into current affairs and unearthing the truth about the world we live in with vigour and determination, esteemed investigative journalist Devi Sankaree Govender has decided to explore new career opportunities.
Devi will make her final appearance on M-Net’s multiple award-winning and longest-running show Carte Blanche on Sunday, 26 January. In addition to its usual news and human interest stories, Carte Blanche will also celebrate her immense contribution to the show during this broadcast.
“As this chapter in Devi’s life journey closes, we would like to express our gratitude for the zest and passion she brought to Carte Blanche, our channel and the M-Net family,” says Jan du Plessis, Director: M-Net Channels. “With her trademark dynamite Carte Blanche probes, Devi has made an immeasurable impact on our society as a whole. We will miss her presence on our iconic Sunday night line-up, but wish her all the best in her future endeavours.”
Adds Carte Blanche Executive Producer Wynand Grobler: “Devi is a brave heart in a petite package with the unique ability to make complete sense of complicated issues of an investigative nature, whether these be financial, consumer or legislative. We have the utmost respect for the way she carried out Carte Blanche’s principle of ‘truth brings change’ and never backed down to get difficult questions answered. Devi’s legacy will remain.”
Carte Blanche has been engrained in Devi’s DNA since she watched its very first episode in 1988. Growing up in the small town of Umzinto in KZN, the show resonated so strongly with the 15-year-old Devi that she proudly pronounced to her family that she would one day be part of the Carte Blanche team.
Her dream became a reality in January 2002 with a baptism of fire. Her first assignment was to cover a story of absolute brutality – the horrific rape of nine-month-old Baby Tsepang.
With an inherent need for justice running through her veins, Devi never shied away from turning on the heat during interviews, whether they involved dodgy pool guys, CEOs of JSE listed companies or government ministers.
One of the many Carte Blanche exposés illustrating Devi’s tenacity to unravel the truth was the Gupta-affiliated Tegeta pre-payment deal from Eskom, which she undertook with producer Joy Summers in June 2016. They proved that Eskom had given Tegata a massive monetary advance for coal, at a time when the Guptas didn’t even own the mine. Devi’s interview with the Head of Generation went viral and was referred to by The Public Protector in her State of Capture Report.
“Working on Carte Blanche has been one of the greatest privileges of my life,” says Devi, who nabbed several prestigious awards . “It led me into the hearts, minds and homes of our people. It allowed me to ask tough questions in my own, straightforward style and I worked with the best in the business – individuals who are passionate about the show and our country and who often put their lives on the line to give our viewers the right to see it all. My fondest memories of the show will always be tied to pinning down the bad guys. That’s what I do best. But I also loved the celebrity interviews. Lionel Richie brought out the 80’s schoolgirl in me when I got to show off my toneless singing voice.”
During her 18 year stint on Carte Blanche, Devi raised two children, joined boards like Business and Arts South Africa, and completed an MBA degree.
“When my daughter finished matric last year and received a golf scholarship to the US, I instinctively knew, that it was time to tick off more items on my bucket list. It was an incredibly difficult decision to move on, but I will always remember what Trevor Noah told me during our interview in New York: ‘Once you think you are at the top, then you should be finding the place where you are at the bottom.’ I look forward to the future but will never forget my past.”
Carte Blanche will appoint a new talented investigative journalist to take over the baton from Devi. More information will be shared in due course.