Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu who is known for his fight against racial justice and LGBT rights has died on Sunday, 26th December. He was 90. Tutu was a retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town.
He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s. In the last few years, Tutu was hospitalized many times for treatment that was associated with his cancer.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed his death and said that Tutu was an iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist, and global human rights campaigner. The presidency did not reveal the exact cause of his death.
South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu passes away
President Ramaphosa described Desmond 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.”
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. We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation. pic.twitter.com/ULGzhOOn9E
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) December 26, 2021
Ramaphosa further added in his statement, “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.”
Desmond Tutu has coined the term “Rainbow Nation” to narrate South Africa when it elected its first black president Nelson Mandela.
Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in the year 1984 for his contribution by leading a non-violence movement against discrimination on the grounds of race. The regime came to an end after a decade and he was chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission which was set up to reveal the atrocities committed in those dark days.
He accused former President Thabo Mbeki of failing to alleviate its citizens from poverty, contain the spread of AIDS, and be a silent spectator to the human rights abuses in Zimbabwe. During his final years, he was disappointed that his dream of a “Rainbow Nation” is yet to come true.
Desmond Tutu was born in the year 1931 in Klerksdorp, west of Johannesburg. Tutu started his career as a teacher before entering a theological seminary.
He was inducted as an Anglican priest in the year 1961. He later completed his master’s degree in theology from King’s College, University of London. He was the first black person to be appointed as Dean of Johannesburg in the year 1975.
Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi also paid his tributes by writing, “Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was a guiding light for countless people globally. His emphasis on human dignity and equality will be forever remembered. I am deeply saddened by his demise, and extend my heartfelt condolences to all his admirers. May his soul rest in peace.”
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was a guiding light for countless people globally. His emphasis on human dignity and equality will be forever remembered. I am deeply saddened by his demise, and extend my heartfelt condolences to all his admirers. May his soul rest in peace.
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) December 26, 2021
The Nelson Mandela Foundation paid tributes to him saying, “contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberatory futures for human societies. He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd.”
The @NelsonMandela Foundation is saddened to hear of the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. This loss is immeasurable. Our deepest condolences go out to Mam Leah and the Tutu family.
Full statement: https://t.co/rET7kevXjf pic.twitter.com/f3hZ5j2CLh
— NelsonMandela (@NelsonMandela) December 26, 2021