Debora Patta Bio, Age, Family, CBS, Husband, Height, Salary, Net Worth

Debora Patta Biography

Debora Patta is a renowned South African broadcast journalist and investigative journalist who was born on September 1, 1964. She has origins from Calabria, Italy, and was born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe).

Patta is the Africa correspondent for the American news program titled The CBS Evening News. She joined CBS in 2013, following her departure from 3rd Degree with Debora Patta, a long-running investigative and current affairs show.

Patta earned a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from the University of Cape Town in 1984. While in college, she taught aerobics for a short time.

Patta worked as a political activist teaching literacy in Cape Town’s squatter camps after graduating from college until 1990, when she began working as a freelance reporter for the BBC.


Patta began her career as a reporter for Radio 702 in Johannesburg in 1990, rising through the ranks to news editor in 1994 and special assignments editor in 1997.

The homecoming of ANC leader Oliver Tambo from exile in December 1990 was the first news story she worked on for Radio 702. She studied and reported on the 1986 plane accident in which Mozambican President Samora Machel was murdered. This happened while working as a news and special assignments editor for Radio 702 and its sister station Cape Talk in 1997 and 1998. During the investigation, she got multiple threatening phone calls.

In addition, Debora appeared at a post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission special hearing in June 1998, delivering expert testimony and aiding with questioning into the Helderberg and Machel plane crashes. She was later interviewed for a documentary about the Helderberg plane tragedy in 2008 called Mayday (Air Crash Investigation or Air Emergency).

Patta returned to Radio 702 as a fill-in talk radio broadcaster in October of 2013.


Since its creation in 1998, Debora has worked for, South Africa’s first privately-owned free-to-air television network. Patta began her career as a senior correspondent in Johannesburg before rising the ranks to become the main anchor of news.

She was the executive producer and anchor of the weekly current events television show 3rd Degree. She created and centered on hard-hitting interviews, from 2000 to 2013. On May 14, 2013, the final episode of 3rd Degree aired.

Patta has covered major international stories such as the September 11 attacks and the death of Princess Dian. Moreover, she has conducted interviews with Oprah Winfrey, Shimon Peres, Nelson Mandela, Jacob Zuma, Thabo Mbeki, Cyril Ramaphosa, Eugène Terre’Blanche, Julius Malema, and Robert McBride, among many others.

In 2005, Debora became the editor-in-chief of news. She quit as editor-in-chief in 2009 “to pursue her passion for journalism” and concentrate on 3rd Degree. Furthermore, Patta was instrumental in the creation of’s eNews Station Africa (eNCA), South Africa’s first 24-hour news channel, in 2008. Debora was cast as co-host of the satirical television news program ZANEWS in 2012, with a puppet version of Patta voiced by Nikki Jackman.

Patta resigned from and eNCA on May 7, 2013. She went on to “pursue other interests as a freelancer for international news businesses.” Following her resignation from, she went to work for CBS News as a foreign correspondent.

Debora Patta
Debora Patta’s Photo

Debora Patta Age

How old is Debora Patta? Patta is 58 years old as of 2022. She was born on September 1, 1964, in Southern Rhodesia. In addition, Debora celebrates her birthday on the 1st of September every year and her zodiac sign is Virgo.

Moreover, Debora’s nationality is South African, her descent is Italian and she belongs to the Caucasian ethnicity.

Debora Patta Family

Patta was born in Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), where her Italian father worked for the railway. Her father was from Rome, Italy, and she spent some time there as a child. Her Italian ancestors hail from the Calabrian town of Praia a Mare. She considers Italy to be her second home and visits it frequently.

Besides, after her parents separated in 1976, Debora relocated to South Africa with her mother, a nurse and devout Catholic, and her sister. She matriculated in 1981 at the Rustenburg School for Girls in the Rondebosch area of Cape Town.

Patta earned a Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from the University of Cape Town in 1984. While in college, she taught aerobics for a short time.

Debora Patta Husband

Is Debora Patta married? Yes. Patta married Mweli Mzizi in April 1995. She was shocked by the good response of listeners to her announcement after the interracial couple had faced prejudice for a year.

Hundreds of people, including Nelson Mandela, were in attendance during their wedding in January 1996. Following the wedding, the Department of Home Affairs informed Mzizi that the marriage was null and void. Mzizi failed to fill out a form stating that he was not already married.

Few South Africans were aware of the condition, according to Newsweek, and “many of the country’s weddings are presumably illegal in the eyes of the bureaucracy.”

Debora and Mzizi attempted unsuccessfully to access a whites-only picnic resort in the Free State in 2000. Shooting the incident on a hidden camera for a 3rd Degree show on racism, resulted in Debora receiving hate mail.

Patta was one of FHM’s 50 Most Eligible Women in the World in 2003 by FHM readers in South Africa.

In addition, Debora married Lance Levitas in June 2003.

She is the mother of two daughters. Chiara Mzizi, her older daughter, was a student at the University of Cape Town and worked as a presenter for YoTV, a youth entertainment show shown on SABC 1.

Furthermore, Debora was living in Johannesburg with her youngest daughter Ella and her partner Andrew Levy as of 2019.

Debora Patta Height

Patta stands approximately at a height of 5 feet 7 inches tall (1.70 m). She weighs 60 kg (132 lbs). Her body measurements are 34-25-36 inches. In addition, she has brown eyes color and blonde hair color.

Debora Patta Salary

Patta earns an average annual salary of between $40,000 and $110,000 at CBS.

Debora Patta Net Worth

How much is Debora Patta worth? Patta has an estimated net worth of between $1 million – $5 million. Her fortune stems from her career as a journalist.


Patta has won a number of awards:

  • 1992: South African Checkers Journalist of the Year
  • 2004: Vodacom Journalist of the Year Gauteng Region
  • 2004: MTN 10 Most Remarkable Women in Media
  • 2007: Simonsvlei Journalist Achiever of the Year
  • 2009: Vodacom Women in the Media
  • 2010: CEO Magazine South Africa’s Most Influential Women in Business and Government
  • 2010: She received a Tricolor Globe Award from the Italian Women in the World association which recognizes outstanding achievers of Italian origin abroad.
  • 2015: She was part of the CBS News team nominated to receive an Emmy Award for the coverage of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.

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