South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of late veteran journalist and editor, Raymond Louw, who died at a Johannesburg hospital on Wednesday.
Ramaphosa said the passing of Louw has robbed South Africa of "a brave and principled journalist and a champion of press freedom."
“Throughout his illustrious career, he reminded us of the critical importance of media freedom to the health of our democracy,” the president said.
He added: “The loss of this respected media stalwart is all the sadder that it comes a day after the passing of his wife, Jean. I offer my deepest sympathies to the family.
Ramaphosa said the most fitting tribute to Louw would be that "we strive to uphold the principles he held dear: a commitment to a free press and to accurate, balanced and fair reporting.”
Louw, aged 91, and a former editor of the acclaimed Rand Daily Mail and Sunday Times, was the recipient of numerous accolades such as the Pringle Medal for Services to Journalism, the Media Institute of Southern Africa's Media Freedom Award, the Mondi-Shanduka Newspaper Lifetime Achiever Award and the International Press Institute Award for Press Freedom Campaigning.
He also served as deputy chairperson of the Media Freedom Sub-committee of the South African National Editors Forum.
Louw was a mentor to a number of young journalists who went on to take up senior positions in the local media industry.