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Raymond Louw and his wife, who died just hours apart, have been described as having an amazing bond. The multi-award-winning veteran journalist and media freedom activist died aged 92, at Johannesburg’s Morningside Clinic. His wife, Jean, died 22 hours earlier.

Raymond and Jean were inseparable and had a six decade companionship; kindred spirits to the end. Their daughter, Fiona Ramsey, says it is amazing that the couple passed within hours of each other.

“It’s a blessing they went together within hours of each other because I don’t think either one would have coped without the other. I think they were so linked. My mother met my father when she was young; she was a great support to him.”

Ramsey says that to the close knit family with strong ties, their passing has left a void.

“Just their enjoyment of life and their appreciation of us. They were close, they were very interested in our lives and we in theirs. He leaves behind a legacy; they lived a very good full life.”

Son Derek Louw says his father was a great support structure.

“We were a very close family and he was a great supporter right through my career. We enjoyed going to game reserves. He was a great father to have.”

Louw was the Deputy Chairperson of the South African Press Council. He was the former editor of The Sunday Times and the old Rand Daily Mail. He was also a founding member of the South African Editors Forum. In 2011, he was awarded World Press Freedom hero.

His friend, Amina Frense, says that Louw was a fierce and passionate media activist.

“Raymond has been a mentor, a fierce and passionate media activist right up to his last working days. He had an active mind and deep intellect. He was a mentor to so many of us, sharp frame of mind.”

A memorial service is expected to be held for the pair next week.

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