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Desmond Tutu, South African anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Prize winner, dies at 90

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Desmond Tutu, South African anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Prize winner, dies at 90

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Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s anti-apartheid icon who won the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial discrimination in the country, died on Sunday. He was 90 years old. President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that Tutu died Sunday morning in Cape Town. He was the last surviving South African winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tutu, who had previously survived tuberculosis, had undergone surgery for prostate cancer in 1997. He had also been hospitalized several times in recent years for various ailments. The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of mourning in our nation’s farewell to a generation of exceptional South Africans who left us a liberated South Africa, said Ramaphosa sharing his condolences with the family and the friends.

Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a principled and pragmatic leader who made sense of the biblical idea that faith without works is dead. A man of extraordinary intelligence, 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 Israel. apartheid, and the oppressed and oppressed people around the world, Ramaphosa said.

The president also praised Tutu for his role on the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, where he was often brought to tears as apartheid victims shared their inhuman treatment at the hands of security forces close to apartheid. Newly elected President Nelson Mandela appointed Tutu to head the Commission in 1995.

As chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, he expressed universal outrage at the ravages of apartheid and touchingly and deeply demonstrated the depth of the meaning of ubuntu, reconciliation and forgiveness. We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul rests in peace but that his spirit remains a sentinel for the future of our nation, Ramaphosa concluded in his statement.

Paying tribute to Tutu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he was a beacon to countless people around the world and that his focus on human dignity and equality will be forever remembered. Modi said: “Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been a guide to countless people around the world. His insistence on human dignity and equality will be forever remembered. I am deeply saddened by his passing and offer my deepest condolences to all of his admirers. May his soul rest in peace. ”Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 while still bishop of Johannesburg.

Referring to Tutu as the Bishop of Peace in Africa, the Norwegian Nobel Institute said the Tutu Prize was awarded “for his role as a unifying leader figure in the nonviolent campaign to resolve the problem. apartheid in South Africa ”. Tutu was hailed by the Nobel Committee for his clear views and fearless stance, characteristics that made him a unifying symbol for all African freedom fighters. Attention has shifted back to the non-violent path to liberation. Despite the bloody violations committed against the black population, such as in the Sharpeville massacre in 1961 and the Soweto uprising in 1976, Tutu adhered to his nonviolent line, the institute said on its website.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) recalled Tutu’s relationship with Mandela after the two first met in a debating competition in the early 1950s until they only met again. prior to Mandela’s release from 27 years in political prison on February 11, 1990. The White Minority The apartheid government thwarted all attempts by Tutu to meet Mandela again over the next four decades.

Mandela’s first night as a free man was spent at the Tutus’ home in Bishopscourt, Cape Town, NMF chief executive Sello Hatang said in a statement. Since then, until Mandela’s death in 2013, they were in regular contact and their friendship deepened over time.

Hatang said he was privileged to have worked on a number of projects with Tutu, whom he described as a friend of Madiba and the Foundation. It was Tutu who raised Madiba’s hand on the Cape Town Hall balcony on May 9, 1994 and introduced him to the assembled crowd as the country’s new president, Hatang said.

Hatang quoted Mandela’s comments on Tutu: His most characteristic quality is his eagerness to take unpopular positions without fear. He speaks on questions of public morality. As a result, he annoyed many leaders of the apartheid system. He did not spare those who followed them either – he annoyed many of us who belong to the new order from time to time. But such independence of mind – as flawed and non-strategic as it can sometimes be – is vital for a thriving democracy.

In recent years, Tutu had also openly criticized the looting of state-owned enterprises in what was identified to the State Capture Commission of Inquiry, not sparing the ruling African National Congress (ANC) whose he had been a proud member all his life. Madiba and l’Arche (the popular names by which the two leaders were affectionately known) were both founding members of The Elders, an international group of inspiring leaders who have done human rights work in countries around the world.

We owe it to both Madiba and L’Arche to continue working for the country and the world of their dreams. Their crossed legacies are powerful resources for social justice work, Hatang said.

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Desmond Tutu, South African anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Prize winner, dies at 90

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