Johannesburg, 29 December 2021 (TDI): South African Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu died on 26th December 2021. According to Los Angeles Times, he died of cancer at a care center in Cape Town. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997. As a result, he had been hospitalized several times before his death yesterday.

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu was a South African cleric who campaigned against apartheid in South Africa. He died at the age of 90. World leaders have sent their condolences to the South Africans.

President Cyril Ramaphosa shared a Message on passing of Archbishop 

South African President, Cyril Ramphosa addressed the South African nation on the passing away of the Icon. In his speech, he expressed grief for the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He expressed his condolences to the family of the late Bishop.

He described the day of the Archbishop’s demise as the saddest of days. He conveyed that Tutu was one of the most courageous, nation’s finest patriots, one of the most beloved among South Africans, a man of unwavering courage, principled conviction, whose life was spent in the service of others.

Moreover, he emphasized Tutu’s contribution to the liberation of South Africa from the apartheid regime and his contributions as Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

He acknowledged the tributes paid to Archbishop Tutu by people across the country and around the world. He prayed that South Africa would follow in his footsteps and become worthy inheritors of the mantle of service, of selflessness, of courage, and principled solidarity with the poor and marginalized.

In honor of the life and contribution of Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the President announced that the government will be led by the Anglican Church in the conduct of his funeral.

Also, there will be a period of mourning during which the national flag would fly at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide and in South African diplomatic missions abroad.

Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu

Desmond Mpilo Tutu was born on 7 October 1931 in Klerksdorp, northwest South Africa. His mother is Allen Dorothea Mavoertsek Mathare. She was born to a Motswana family in Boksburg.

His father is Zachariah Zelilo Tutu. He was from the branch of Xhosa and grew up in Gcuwa, Eastern Cape. He worked as the principal of a Methodist primary school.

Desmond Tutu in Apartheid Era

Desmond Tutu contributed immensely to the destruction of Apartheid in South Africa. In addition, he played pivotal roles in building the rainbow nation, the free South Africa we see today.

In May 1976, he wrote a public letter to the then Prime Minister, John Vorster. Tutu warned of his “growing nightmarish fear” that “bloodshed and violence are almost inevitable” if repression continued.

With Mandela and most other Black leaders in prison, and the African National Congress and other liberation groups banned, Tutu became the most prominent, public voice in South Africa that spoke against the racism and oppression of minority white rule.

Desmond Tutu served also as the Chairperson for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC). The TRC was a statutory panel charged with investigating murder, torture, bombings, and other crimes by Black and White people committed during apartheid.

Desmond Tutu in post-Apartheid South Africa

Tutu did not shy away from calling governments to order when he felt it was necessary to do so. He spoke out against crime, corruption, and the ANC’s failures on AIDS and poverty. He campaigned against AIDS and cancer, and never shied from controversial subjects. He challenged the government over human rights abuses.