Archbishop and South African Hero Desmond Tutu has died at the age of 90. The Archbishop died in the early hours of Sunday the 26th December according to His Excellency President Cyril Ramaphosa.
President Ramaphosa said that the death marked “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans”. A man who was instrumental in the defeat against Apartheid in South Africa.
Celebrated not just in South Africa but around the world, Desmond Tutu has often been referred to as the conscience of South Africa an enduring testament to his faith and spirit of reconciliation in a divided nation.
In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Noble Peace Prize Award for his role in helping to eliminate apartheid in South Africa. So many South African lives were lost as a result of Apartheid.
He preached against the tyranny of the white minority and even after its end, he never wavered in his fight for a fairer South Africa, calling the black political elite to account with as much feistiness as he had the white Afrikaners.
Who was Archbishop Desmond Tutu?
President Ramaphosa described Tutu as “a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.
“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity, and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world.”
He used his high-profile role in the Anglican Church to highlight the plight of black South Africans.
Asked on his retirement as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1996 if he had any regrets, Tutu said: “The struggle tended to make one abrasive and more than a touch self-righteous. I hope that people will forgive me any hurts I may have caused them.”
In February 1990, Tutu led Nelson Mandela onto a balcony at Cape Town’s City Hall overlooking a square where the ANC talisman made his first public address after 27 years in prison.
He was at Mandela’s side four years later when he was sworn in as the country’s first black president.
“Sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid and seldom without humor, Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless,” is how Mandela, who died in December 2013, described his friend.
While Mandela introduced South Africa to democracy, Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that laid bare the terrible truths of the war against white rule.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu is lived by his four children and several grandchildren.
Author: Moses Echodu
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