Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Anglican cleric knand revered leader during the struggle to end apartheid in his native South Africa, has died. He was 90. Tutu died from prostate cancer at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town on 26 December 2021.
South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa expresses his heartfelt condolences to Mam Leah Tutu, the Tutu family, the board and staff of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the Elders and Nobel Laureate Group, and the friends, comrades and associates nationally and globally of the iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner.
President Ramaphosa said: "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. Desmond Tutu 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. As Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission he articulated the universal outrage at the ravages of apartheid and touchingly and profoundly demonstrated the depth of meaning of ubuntu, reconciliation and forgiveness."
Christian music artists have also rally around social media to express their condolences and tributes.
Kirk Franklin: "Another Flower Fades....Desmond Tutu. Rest well King... "
Tim Hughes: "When I was ordained as a priest Desmond Tutu was preaching. At the end of the service he came up to me, as he did to all who were priested that day, and asked for a blessing. So incredibly the first thing I did as a priest was to bless Archbishop Desmond Tutu. He's always been a hero of mine. I loved his humility and his hunger to never settle. His courage to challenge and his absolute commitment to the power of forgiveness has had a remarkable influence worldwide. RIP."
Martin Smith: "Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Way ahead of his time. He stood against the evils of apartheid in SA at the risk of his own life. A prophet and a priest. A true servant."
Brooke Ligertwood (Hillsong Worship): "`Like when you sit in front of a fire in winter - you are just there in front of the fire. You don't have to be smart or anything. The fire warms you' This quote (by Tutu) is referring to prayer/communion, which I thought was quite obvious but perhaps not."
Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end apartheid, and played a key role in South Africa's transition from the apartheid era, including serving as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the direction of then-President Nelson Mandela.