On Sunday, 26 December 2021, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu passed away in Cape Town at the age of 90.
President Cyril Rampahopsa confirmed the news in a statement.
“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans, who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa.”
Desmond Tutu was the last surviving Nobel Peace Prize winner in SA
Desmond Tutu was also the last surviving South African laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize. The Anglican cleric received the honourable award in 1984 for his non-violent role in opposing apartheid in SA.
“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism, who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.”
“He placed his extensive academic achievements at the service of our Struggle and at the service of the cause for social and economic justice the world over,” Ramaphosa said.
“From the pavements of resistance in South Africa to the pulpits of the world’s great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights,” he said.
Condolences shared to Tutu’s wife and family
In the statement, Ramaphosa took a moment to express his heartfelt condolences to Tutu’s wife, Mam Leah Tutu, and the Tutu family. He also sent his condolences to the board and staff of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Elders and Nobel Laureate Group, and the friends, comrades and associates nationally and globally of the “iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner”.
“We share this moment of deep loss with Mam Leah Tutu, the Archbishop’s soulmate and source of strength and insight, who has made a monumental contribution in her own right to our freedom and to the development of our democracy,” he said.
“We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace, but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation.”
“In his richly inspiring yet challenging life, Desmond Tutu overcame tuberculosis, the brutality of the apartheid security forces and the intransigence of successive apartheid regimes. Neither Casspirs, teargas nor security agents could intimidate him or deter him from his steadfast belief in our liberation.”