Death of Desmond Tutu: rain of tributes for the icon of the anti-apartheid struggle

“He was an amazing human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd  » : in unison with reactions from around the world, the Mandela Foundation described« incommensurable » the loss of Desmond Tutu, for whom a week of mourning is observed, from Monday, December 27 until the funeral on Saturday in Cape Town.

Sunday night Joe and Jill Biden, saying they got the  » Broken Heart « , estimated in a press release that  » The example «  of the Anglican Archbishop who died Sunday at the age of 90 « Transcends borders and will find an echo through the ages ». The American presidential couple also spoke of the « Power of the message of justice, equality, truth and reconciliation » worn by Desmond Tutu.

Read also Article reserved for our subscribers Desmond Tutu, the tireless voice of the oppressed

Earlier, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed « His deep sadness » after the death of this « Unequaled patriot ». His death « Is a new chapter of mourning in our nation’s farewell to a generation of exceptional South Africans who left us a liberated South Africa », he clarified, evoking « A man of extraordinary intelligence, integrity and invincible against the forces of apartheid ».

The United Nations also paid tribute to Desmond Tutu, « A source of inspiration for generations all over the world » and whose death « Leave an immense void », in the words of its secretary general, Antonio Guterres.

« The Arch »

Countless countries around the world have joined in with the emotion through messages at the highest level, such as Queen Elizabeth II greeting the Defender « Tireless » rights or the French President, Emmanuel Macron, ensuring that the « combat » de Desmond Tutu « For the end of apartheid and South African reconciliation will remain in our memories ».

Tributes also from religious authorities, from Pope Francis to the spiritual leader of the Anglicans and Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, including the Dalai Lama.

Read also Desmond Tutu did not hesitate to take to task the powerful

Tributes, finally, from South Africans stopping in front of Saint George’s Cathedral, in Cape Town, the former parish of « The Arch », as he was affectionately known. “He was so important in the fight against apartheid. For us, the blacks… ”Brent Goliath, 44, told AFP before bursting into tears. On Sunday evening, Desmond Tutu’s foundation announced that his funeral will be held on Saturday 1is January in this cathedral.

Among the announced provisions, the foundation indicates that « The bells of St. George’s Cathedral will be rung every day for ten minutes, starting at noon », all week from Monday to Friday, the day on which the body of the deceased « Will rest in a fiery chapel in the cathedral ».

Desmond Tutu was the last of the great figures of the struggle against apartheid, the conscience of South Africa, but also a mischievous and powerful laugh.

Until recently, the Nobel Peace Prize winner imposed his small purple silhouette and his legendary outspokenness to denounce injustices and to chip away at all powers. The last time the country heard from him was on 1is November. Out of sight, he had voted in local elections.

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The World with AFP

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