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Here are some of the many tributes paid to Desmond Tutu, a force of harmony

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Here are some of the many tributes paid to Desmond Tutu, a force of harmony

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Tributes from world and religious leaders, South Africans and prominent supporters around the world flooded social media on Sunday following the death of Desmond M. Tutu.

Oratorical force whose leadership helped abolish apartheid in South Africa, Archbishop Tutu died at the age of 90 in Cape Town. His position of non-violence in the anti-apartheid movement won him a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. And he was a strong advocate for peaceful reconciliation, guiding South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was in charge of to investigate the crimes of apartheid.

His death was announced on social media by the office of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa. The cause was cancer, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said.

Mr. Ramaphosa called Archbishop Tutu “A patriot without equal; a principled and pragmatic leader who made sense of the biblical idea that faith without works is dead.

Archbishop Tutu used his position as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission “to take account of oppressive pasts but also to hold the new democratic government to account,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement. “His contributions to the struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his reflection on the construction of liberating futures for human societies. He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A chef. A shepherd.”

Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town, said in a statement that “Archbishop Tutu’s legacy is moral strength, moral courage and clarity”.

“He felt with the people,” Archbishop Makgoba said. “In public and alone, he cried because he felt people’s pain. And he laughed – no, not just laughed, he chuckled with pleasure when he shared their joy.

Archbishop Tutu’s legacy, according to many, was a legacy of unity and service, built on a country life for dignity for people everywhere and helping to bridge the gaps.

“Indeed, the great baobab has fallen,” said the African National Congress. in a report. “South Africa and the mass democratic movement have lost a tower of moral conscience and an epitome of wisdom.”

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who befriended Archbishop Tutu, recalled the “spiritual bond” they shared.

“He was a true humanitarian and a committed human rights defender,” he wrote in a letter to Archbishop Tutu’s daughter, Mpho Tutu van Furth. He added: “I am convinced that the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he has and to constantly seek to see how we too can help others.”

John Steenhuisen, the leader of the Democratic Alliance, the South African opposition party, wrote on Twitter: “A true South African giant has passed away, but his spirit will live in the kindness that we South Africans have left us. witness to each other, and in our continuing efforts to build a united, successful and non-racial SA for all.

But Archbishop Tutu’s friends and supporters also remembered a man who loved life and was a devoted partner to his wife, Leah Tutu. A friend of Archbishop Tutu, Richard Branson, the British billionaire founder of the Virgin brand, wrote in a tribute about teaching the Archbishop to swim.

“He was a fast learner and quickly splashed us with laughter,” said Mr Branson, describing Archbishop Tutu as “one of the most positive, funny and life-affirming people I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. “.

“He was one of the best of us. He brought light to darkness and lightness to heaviness ”, Thuli Madonsela, a former public protector of South Africa, wrote on Twitter.

Other leaders, officials and public figures outside South Africa have also expressed their condolences or have simply drawn attention to the words of Archbishop Tutu himself. Accompanied by a picture of the pair kissingFormer President Barack Obama said religion was “rooted in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned about injustice everywhere.”

“He never lost his playful sense of humor and his willingness to find humanity in his opponents,” Mr. Obama said.

Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store said on Twitter that Norway sent its “sincere condolences to his family and to the South African nation”.

“May his immense contribution to peace and human rights continue to inspire,” added Mr. Store.

Archbishop Tutu will be remembered “for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humor”, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter.

He was also commemorated on Sunday by members of the LGBTQ community, including the former American tennis player. Billie Jean King, as an ally who urged gay and lesbian Christians to take up leadership positions in the church.

Palestinian leaders also mourned Archbishop Tutu, an outspoken critic of Israel’s actions towards the Palestinians.

“His support for Palestine was an embrace of love and empathy,” said Hanan Ashwari, a former Palestinian peace negotiator, praising his commitment to “our common struggle for justice and freedom.”

Although the loss was painful, the mourners said, his accomplishments were proof of a meaningful life that will be remembered forever.

“A great influential elder is now an eternal ancestor and witness,” Reverend Bernice King, the youngest child of civil rights activist Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., tweeted. “And we’re better because he was here.”


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