Tutu trust condemns racist slur on mural
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CAPE TOWN - The Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust has denounced the “loathsome” graffiti targeting Archbishop Tutu, saying the racial words on a Tutu mural in the city centre casts a slur on the country’s democracy.
The perpetrator behind the words, “Ek is ‘n k*****”, on the mural will have been filmed in the act by the City’s security cameras, according to Good party’s mayoral candidate Brett Herron.
The Tutu mural is situated along those honouring Struggle icons Nelson Mandela and Winnie Madikizela Mandela at the heart of the CBD.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust acting chairperson Dr Mamphela Ramphele detailed Tutu’s fight against racism, saying he was regularly threatened by hate-mongers, including the security police.
His family received horrible phone calls, he was the target of graffiti – and in one unsavoury incident, in 1989, a baboon foetus was hung outside their home in an attempt, police later said, to bewitch him, it said.
“Despite the Archbishop’s consistent advocacy for non-racialism, justice, compassion and love, because of the prominence of his position in the church and the Struggle he was widely reviled in white society.
“If looks could kill he would have been dead many times over, he has often said. For this hatred to be repeated, decades later, by someone scrawling, ’Ek is ‘n k*****’, on a mural of the Archbishop in central Cape Town, casts a slur on our democracy. It speaks to the work still ahead to complete the journey, his journey, to restore our humanity,” said Ramphele.
The incident comes weeks before Tutu celebrates his 90th birthday on October 7.
“Racism is a curse South Africa must escape. We have enough problems on our plate, including radical inequality in wealth and living standards still largely tracking the social, economic and environmental hierarchies of the past.
“We must work through unresolved reverberations from the past to build an inclusive nation at peace with itself and its humanity. A nation of conscious, critical thinking and educated citizens. That is an objective worthy of pursuing to honour the Arch on his 90th birthday, and to honour ourselves,” said Ramphele.
Herron called on the City to work with police to track down the perpetrator.
“Archbishop Tutu is a global treasure who has been an advocate for non-racialism, equality and justice all his life. He is about to celebrate his 90th birthday.
“To denigrate him with South Africa’s most vile racist epithet denigrates us all. Cape Town is known as the Mother City. Most Capetonians will be horrified by this attack on the Archbishop.
“It is incumbent on each and every one of us who calls this city home to advance common purpose and defend the principle of non-racialism,” Herron said.