Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 26 May 2024

“Those of you who pay attention to these things will note the shortness of this press release. While a report on the independent candidates contesting this month’s elections and an investigation into the UK’s fight against fake brands are compelling viewing, we’d be failing our viewers if that was the full extent of our Sunday-night offering. So, without going into detail, stand by for an exposé so controversial and brim-full of intrigue that mentioning it here could very well land us in court.” -John Webb, Executive Producer 

Political Outliers

With just days to go before the national elections, and a buffet of options, South Africans are facing tough choices. On paper, political parties will come head-to-head with the newly minted independent candidates on two of the three ballot papers: a conundrum that voters have never encountered before. But short on a strong traditional supporter base and the resources for a competitive election campaign, do independent candidates have a real chance to make an impact in these elections? In the battle between political parties and independent candidates, Carte Blanche examines who’s got the upper hand.  

Producer: Harri Vithi | Presenter: Masa Kekana

Faking It

In Manchester in the United Kingdom, a police task force specialising in high-level criminal operations is on the move against its latest target. But it’s not drugs or weapons they’re after; it’s clothes. Tonnes of fake designer wear with a street value of more than $1.5 million: fake fashion has become big business. Some experts estimate that this illicit industry could be valued at trillions of dollars, and the growth rates are exponential. Counterfeiting is also one of the largest sources of criminal income worldwide and Europe’s a major market. In this special investigation, journalists in the UK uncover how fake fashion has become a front for organised crime, funding everything from terrorism to human trafficking.

Producer: ABC | Presenter: Naomi Selvaratnam


That Time President Ramaphosa Found His Pen

Two-pot what? With just four months before it goes live, we look at the two-pot retirement system. How the local drone industry is quite literally lifting off in a big way. Then, could we face another bird flu epidemic? Why the novel H7N6 strain is cause for concern. Later – a new road safety survey calls drivers out on their bad habits. And South Africans are gatvol – so they’re fixing things themselves. But first, President Cyril Ramaphosa found his pen and the Rolls Royce of healthcare has been signed into law this past week. But not everyone is celebrating the National Health Insurance Bill. But don’t cancel your medical aid just yet.

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School Ties: Breaking the Code of Silence

South Africa’s education landscape faces a sobering reality. Alongside issues like bullying, substance abuse and vandalism, rampant sexual abuse and grooming add to the burden experienced by many schoolchildren. Many cases go unreported, but the statistics paint a clear picture of a trend that demands urgent attention. Having recently launched on Mnet Channel 101, a four-part documentary series called School Ties takes a sobering look at a culture of grooming and sexual abuse within some of the country’s most elite private schools. We’re joined by series producer Richard Gregory to find out more about Operation Nemo, a specialized police investigation into sports coaches targeting vulnerable students, and why school ties should serve as a wake-up call for parents and educators alike.

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Northern Cape: Broken Promises

No work, no housing, no electricity, no facilities. No promises ever kept. In the Northern Cape, basic infrastructure is broken and so are the service delivery promises.

Full Story

Eastern Cape: Broken Promises

Big money wasted and communities left with broken promises… The Eastern Cape is scattered with substandard, incomplete projects meant to uplift communities. We investigate.

Full Story

Elections Unpacked with Tshidi Madia

Several political parties – both big and small – are coming out in full force as the elections creep ever closer. But what’s truly on offer? And how capable are the many political parties of sticking to those promises? We speak to Eyewitness News politics associate editor and Politricking host, Tshidi Madia, about manifestos, the biggest potential losers, own goals and whether your chosen party is willing to sell its soul in the coalition game.

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Elections Unpacked: Herman Mashaba      

Bring back the Scorpions! No more parole. Penal colonies in the Kalahari. And grand corruption will be declared a “crime against humanity”. Furthermore, the triple BEE model will be scrapped – but is a proposed replacement just BEE dressed up in a fancier name? Masa Kekana sits down with ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba to find out how the party hopes to achieve many of its lofty promises.

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Elections Unpacked with Keamogetswe Seipato        

With just over two months to go before South Africans are set to make their mark, Masa Kekana sits down with My Vote Counts campaigner, Keamogetswe Seipato, to find out why this election feels so different. What’s truly at stake? Who has the most to lose? And why the youth hold the power to change it all.

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MK Party: Fact or Fiction

A whistleblower comes forward… The allegation? That a popular fledgling political party allegedly committed electoral fraud. But are the allegations fact or fiction?

Full Story

Hunting with the Hawks

It was a crime-fighting unit born from the ashes of the disbanded Scorpions. In 2008, a fractured ANC government established the Hawks as the country’s new, elite crime-fighting unit. Tasked with investigating organised and financial crime, as well as corruption, the unit has often operated outside the public gaze. In the last 16 years, its highly specialised members have tracked down and arrested some of the country’s most wanted criminals. And now, a new book called Hunting with the Hawks lifts the veil on a unit with a surprisingly high success rate.

Full Story


Pilot Project

A bogus pilot, bogus Iraq war veteran, and bogus immigration expert. Yes, there’s no end to the roles on Jonathan Constable’s CV for which he was suitably unqualified. In fact, the only thing at which this Jack of All Trades truly excelled was taking people for a financial ride. It’s alleged he hijacked buildings, weaponised the police to settle scores, and posed as a Home Affairs official to dupe desperate refugees out of tens of thousands of rands. This was a story Mr Contestable appeared desperate to conceal but, despite his efforts to duck accountability, #CarteBlanche did what Carte Blanche does best.

Full Story

Smoke & Mirror Trading International

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), further arrests are likely on the cards for those implicated in the multi-billion rand Mirror Trading International (MTI) Ponzi scheme. This after MTI CEO, Johann Steynberg, died while under house arrest in Brazil. Carte Blanche reported on the scheme back in 2021, questioning how MTI was able to dupe around 300 000 people into parting with their money.

Full Story


Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are the backbone of the social care system in Gauteng. They provide food, shelter, and medical care for some of the most vulnerable members of society, often reaching people and places that government simply can’t. Now, as Gauteng considers a policy shift for NGOs – which could reduce the very funding that these organisations need to stay afloat – the social security net that has been supporting those in need could finally crumble. But why is government so intent on changing the playing field?

Full Story


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By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb