South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said on Wednesday it was mourning the passing of media legend and deeply committed Sanef Council member Raymond Louw and his wife Jean, who died within 24 hours of each other.
Their deaths follow that of veteran journalist Zuluboy Molefe and veteran photojournalist Herbert Mabuza who both died over the weekend.
Raymond Louw was a journalist, editor, and media commentator. He was the winner of numerous national and international media freedom awards. In 2011 he was named a “World Press Freedom Hero” by the Vienna-based International Press Institute.
Sanef founder member Mary Papayya said the media industry had lost a giant, adding that Louw’s role within Sanef and the media had been priceless.
Papayya said Louw was a mentor to so many and was our institutional memory on all fronts.
“He was with us from the beginning as Sanef and made significant contributions to the call to end punitive legislation against media freedom,” Papayya said.
“He was always at the round tables on these discussions and deliberations. He was passionate about access to information and the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) and ensuring the protection of journalist sources.”
Oom Ray, as he was fondly known by Sanef members, won Sanef’s Stephen Wrottesley award three times for his tireless commitment to the organisation.
Sanef chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said they would miss Louw’s editorial wisdom, his passion for justice, and his unstoppable energy.
“Even in retirement, Raymond continued to contribute immensely to Sanef. He was pained by continued attacks on journalists and attempts to muzzle the media by various actors. He was a wealth of wisdom and always a pillar of strength,” Mahlase said.
Raymond Louw was born in 1926. He was 92 at the time of his death. Sanef sent condolences to the family – both for the death of Raymond and Jean.
– African News Agency