Respected author Tim Couzens dies

Cape Town - The lead writer of Nelson Mandela's Conversations with Myself, Tim Couzens, has died.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation on Thursday said it was devastated at his passing, saying he was a colleague and friend to many at the organisation.

Couzens was a literary and social historian working at the Graduate School for Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand.

"We spent many months working closely with Tim on...Conversations with Myself. Tim spent many hours at a time working in our archives with Madiba's private papers. It was Tim who conceived of the style of the book after Meditations by the roman emperor Marcus Aurelius," the foundation said in a statement.

"We will miss Tim's wisdom which he shared generously, but with great humility. Most of all we will miss his wicked sense of humour."

Chief executive of the foundation Sello Hatang said: "I will never forget how whenever you paid Tim a compliment he would downplay it and instead turn it around to make you look good." 

The cause of 72-year-old Couzens' death was not immediately known.

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