South Africa’s Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu has died at the age of 90 on Sunday, December 26, 2021, in Cape Town.
Tutu was South Africa’s last surviving Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and veteran who pioneered to end apartheid in South Africa.
He was appointed by Nelson Mandela to head South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to investigate crimes committed by both sides during the apartheid era.
Tutu was also credited with coining the term Rainbow Nation to describe the ethnic mix of post-apartheid South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his condolences to Tutu’s wife Leah, family, staff of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, Nobel Prize Laureate group, friends, the country, and the world at large.
President Ramaphosa said Tutu was “an iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner”.
Adding that he was “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 Mpilo Tutu was born in 1931 in a small gold-mining town in what was then the Transvaal.
He was ordained as a priest in 1960. He went on to serve as bishop of Lesotho between 1976 and 1978. He became Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985 and was later appointed the first black Archbishop of Cape Town.