Debora Patta

Debora Patta is one of the most respected news broadcasters in South Africa. She is the Africa correspondent for the American news program ‘The CBS Evening News’.

This sought-after public speaker and events moderator/program director is fluent in English and Italian.

Her 25-year career spans radio and television as both an on-air newswoman and a senior editorial manager.

She started working as a radio freelancer for the BBC and in 1990 joined the award-winning Johannesburg-based talk radio station 702. She is particularly well-known for her coverage of Nelson Mandela from his release to his election as South Africa’s first black president.  He used to call her “his favourite journalist.”

Patta moved to the independent free-to-air television station in 1998 where she was Editor-in-Chief of, launching the country’s first 24-hour TV channel and mentoring a generation of reporters.

She also hosted and was Executive Producer of ‘Third Degree’ for 13 years. This was a no-holds-barred investigative current affairs programme – and a nightmare for the corrupt and powerful. It was on that series where she honed her tough interviewing skills.

Patta now covers stories around the globe, with a focus on Africa.  Debora’s experience and drive enabled her to break into the tough world of international broadcasting, becoming one of only six foreign correspondents for CBS News, a highly-coveted position for the prestigious US network.

In her five years there, she has covered Nelson Mandela’s death, the Oscar Pistorius trial, the Ebola crisis, the Syrian war, terror attacks in France, Belgium and Spain, and spent time in conflict zones such as South Sudan, Somalia, DRC, northern parts of Nigeria, Niger and Cameroon.

Patta is a multi-award-winning journalist. These include being named:

  • Vodacom Media Woman of the Year
  • South Africa’s Most Influential Woman in Media
  • MTN’s Outstanding Women in Media
  • Italy’s Woman of the World
  • a recipient of the prestigious US Edward R Murrow award
  • an awardee of an NABJ Salute To Excellence Award and the Scripps Howard award
  • a nominee for two Emmys
  • the winner of a Free Expression Award.

Patta has co-authored two books ‘Baby Micaela’ and ‘One Step Behind Mandela’.

A keen exercise enthusiast, Debora has summited Mt. Kilimanjaro and tucked a New York Marathon under her belt.  But she still claims her most-rewarding achievement is being a mother to two gorgeous, talented young girls.