Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. File picture: Enrico Jacobs

Faiez Jacobs, ANC Provincial Secretary in the Western Cape, wishes Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu a happy 85th birthday.

As the ANC in the Western Cape, we would like to extend our very best wishes to Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu on the occasion of his 85th birthday today (October 7).

Through the years, the Arch has kept his beauty of soul, having remained a champion for those who have nothing, and has never grown weary in his good deeds.

The Arch's name continues to echo through decades because of his selfless struggle for dignity, rights and aspirations of the oppressed and the marginalised. His words of wisdom, that we must do our little bit of good where we are, remain our guiding light; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.

Bishop Tutu is a great leader, a friend of all lovers of freedom and justice, a believer in the dignity and equality of human beings, a fighter for justice, an apostle of peace, and it gives the ANC great pleasure to continue to share these precious years with the Arch.

It was the Arch who termed the 1994 democratic breakthrough the beginning of a "Rainbow Nation" and encouraged us to celebrate our diversity while promoting unity and social cohesion.

The Arch's message of justice and reconciliation is still relevant and important today, and we call on all fellow peace and freedom-loving people to celebrate with us a great man.

Thank you Ma Leah and the entire Tutu family for sharing him with all of us.