26 December 2021

We have learned with great shock of the passing on of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the last surviving South African laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, passed away in Cape Town at the age of 90.

We join South Africa and the world in mourning a leading stalwart of justice, equality and equity and we wish to express our deepest 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, and associates nationally and globally of the iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner.

“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 compassionate 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.

“He placed his extensive academic achievements at the service of our struggle and at the service of the cause for social and economic justice to the world over.

“From the streets in South Africa to the pulpits of the world’s great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights President Ramaphosa.

“In his life, Desmond Tutu overcame tuberculosis, the brutality of the apartheid security forces and the intransigence of successive apartheid regimes. Neither Casspirs, teargas nor security agents could intimidate him or deter him from his steadfast belief in our liberation.

“He remained true to his convictions during the democratic dispensation and maintained his vigour and vigilance as he held leadership and the burgeoning institutions of democracy to account in his inimitable, inescapable and always fortifying way.

The Diplomatic Informer
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