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Nobel winner Tutu, 90

Republika

JOHANNESBURG—The 1984 Nobel Prize laureate and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu, passed away on Dec. 26, Sunday in a Cape Town nursing home. He was 90 years old.


The Nobel laureate was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and was in and out of the hospital for the treatment of infections that arose from the cancer’s own treatment.


A spokesperson of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust (also known as Tutu Trust) announced that he will lie in state at St. George’s Cathedral on Friday, followed by his funeral service on Saturday.


His death drew tributes from across the globe, including world leaders and notable personalities: South African president Cyril Ramaphosa called him among the country’s “finest patriots”, while United States president Joe Biden who said that “[Tutu’s] legacy transcends borders” and that it would “echo throughout the ages.” Ex-US president Barack Obama paid homage to Tutu as his mentor and “moral compass.”


The Dalai Lama, in a letter to Tutu’s daughter Rev. Mpho Tutu, called him a “great man, who lived a truly meaningful life.” Meanwhile, the daughter of civil rights icon Martin Luther King said: “We are better because he was here.”


Tutu was known and recognized for his non-violent opposition to apartheid in South Africa. He led a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which sought to expose horrors that have occurred under white minority rule, after apartheid ended.


A staunch opponent of racial discrimination, he called out Black political elites as much as he did Afrikaners (South Africans of European descent).
A native of the city of Johannesburg, Tutu led many marches and movements pushing for the end of apartheid from St. George’s front steps.


He also constantly traveled the world during the 1980s to advocate for the anti-apartheid movement, while members of the then-opposition party African National Congress—which included President Nelson Mandela, another Nobel Prize winner—were imprisoned.


Even after his retirement from the public eye, he went on speaking out on various moral matters such as the West’s involvement in Palestinian suffering by staying silent, and his support for gay rights. Of the latter, he said that he would never “worship a God who is homophobic.”

Photo: BBC


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