Tutu Was Larger Than Life: Nelson Mandela Foundation

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By Staff Reporter

Archbishop Desmond Tutu gestures at the launch of a human rights campaign marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights , December 10, 2007. Picture: Reuters

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has described the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as immeasurable. Tutu died on Sunday at the age of 90.

In a statement, the foundation says, “He was larger than life, and for so many in South Africa and around the world his life has been a blessing. His contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberatory futures for human societies. He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd. Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this most difficult time.”

Foundation Chief Executive, Sello Hatang says, the Arch meant everything to him. “I first met him during the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and was privileged to work with him on a number of projects over the years. He was a friend to Madiba and to the Foundation.”

According to the foundation, “Nelson Mandela and the Archbishop Emeritus first met at a debating competition in the early 1950s. It would be four decades later before they met again, on the day that Mandela was released from prison. His first night as a free man was spent at the home of the Tutus in Bishopscourt, Cape Town. On that occasion before everyone retired for the night, Tutu offered a prayer of thanksgiving and led a singing of Reverend Tiyo Soga’s famous hymn in isiXhosa, ‘Lizalis’idinga lakho’ – ‘Let your will be done’.”

‘Patriot without equal’

President Cyril Ramaphosa has also expressed 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.

Ramaphosa says, “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.” SABC


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