Anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu dead
South African anti-apartheid icon Archbishop Desmond Tutu, described as the country’s moral compass, died on Sunday aged 90, sparking an outpouring of tributes for the outspoken Nobel Peace Prize winner.
Tutu, who had largely faded from public life in recent years, was remembered for his easy humour and characteristic smile — and above all his tireless fight against injustices of all colours. He was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and in recent years was hospitalised on several occasions.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, announcing the archbishop’s death on Sunday, called him a man of “extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid”. “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,” he said, weeks after the death of FW de Klerk, the country’s last white president.
Expressing condolences, the Vatican in a statement said that Pope Francis was saddened by Tutu’s death. “Mindful of his service to the gospel through the promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa, his holiness commends his soul to the loving mercy of almighty God.”