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Cape Town - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu observed a moment of silence during his honorary citizenship ceremony at the Swellendam town hall to remember murdered teenagers Lee Adams and Anene Booysen.
Fifteen-year-old Lee was found beheaded last week and 17-year-old Anene was raped and murdered earlier this year.
“It’s not about evil or satanism, it’s about society being deeply scarred - something is wrong,” said Tutu.
Tutu addressed guests including Arts and Culture MEC Ivan Meyer, executive mayor of Swellendam Nicholas Myburgh and councillors from the Swellendam Municipality.
Tutu said although progress had been made in society, the job of reconciliation was not done.
“Since 1994, we’ve embraced democracy. We have moved but not far enough. All of you must take credit because everyone in the world expected our country to explode.
“Despite awful things still happening, we are an example to the rest of the world.”
He added, though, that things were not “okay”.
Tutu said there were millions of people who still worked in harsh conditions and who lived in poverty.
“Our economic system is unbalanced, with the widest gap of rich and poor. The most important transformation project takes place in our hearts.”
Myburgh said the council had made a unanimous decision to bestow the honorary citizenship on Tutu because “he is a global icon against injustices, corruption and poverty”. Myburgh continued: “I stopped in the street the other day and asked: ‘What has Tutu got to do with Swellendam?’
“Swellendam is the third-oldest district; we have world-class entrepreneurs. We share the common goal of seeking reconciliation, to see social economic change and the change of hearts. Today is a day for healing, reflection and reconciliation and we don’t see anyone better to help us than Tutu,” said Myburgh.
A wreath-laying ceremony was held to commemorate 28 pupils and teachers who died in a bus crash on October 25, 1975.