Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle, died on Sunday at the age of 90, the South African presidency said.
“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,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu giving a moving address at a 2014 rally for Palestine in Cape Town
The Palestine protest march, attended by over 250 000 people, was the largest that South Africa witnessed (on any issue) since the dawn of democracy.
— #Africa4Palestine (@Africa4Pal) December 26, 2021
In 1984, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid. A decade later, he witnessed the ends of that regime and he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, set up to unearth atrocities committed during those dark days.
Palestine mourns the passing of Desmond Tutu, whose humanity & compassion were equalled only by his courage & principled commitment in our shared struggle for justice & freedom. His support for Palestine was an embrace of love & empathy. I’m honoured to have had him as a friend.
— Hanan Ashrawi (@DrHananAshrawi) December 26, 2021
Tutu was a staunch supporter of the Palestinian people’s struggle against Israeli apartheid. After one of his visits to Palestine, he famously wrote an article in the Guardian under the title Apartheid in the Holy Land.
In it, he said,
“I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy land: it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.”
We are so sorry to learn of the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He stood up for the dispossessed his entire life, at huge personal cost. Let us never forget his work in South Africa, for Palestine, and beyond. pic.twitter.com/Arzo7d5U7J
— Travel2Palestine (@travel2pal) December 26, 2021
Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years he was hospitalized on several occasions to treat infections associated with his cancer treatment.
The outspoken Tutu was considered the nation’s conscience, an enduring testament to his faith and spirit of reconciliation in a divided nation.
(MEMO, PC, Social media)