Mohammed Shaikh and his son Uthmaan 8 months placing flowers next to a photograph of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu outside St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Photograph- Phando Jikelo - African News Agency(ANA)
Mohammed Shaikh and his son Uthmaan 8 months placing flowers next to a photograph of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu outside St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. Photograph- Phando Jikelo - African News Agency(ANA)

Category 1 funeral for Archbishop Desmond Tutu

By Jehran Naidoo Time of article published Dec 28, 2021

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DURBAN - The late Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu has been honoured by President Cyril Ramaphosa with a category one special funeral set to take place on Saturday – New Year's Day.

Tutu died on Sunday in Cape Town. He was 90.

The office of the Presidency announced the category one funeral will take place on January 1 at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

A state funeral of this kind usually involves displays by the SANDF, but according to Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele, the late Arch did not want any display.

“In recognition of the late Archbishop Emeritus’ distinguished life and invaluable contribution to the nation, President Ramaphosa has designated the late leader’s funeral as a Special Official Funeral – Category 1.

“The distinguishing features of a Special Official Funeral – Category 1 include ceremonial elements by the SANDF. On this particular occasion and based on the late Archbishop’s wishes, the SANDF ceremonial content will be limited to the handing over of the national flag to Mam Leah Tutu.

“As part of this funeral designation, the national flag will be half-masted throughout the country and at South African diplomatic missions worldwide from sunset today, December 28, until the evening of the funeral,” Gungubele said.

Tutu was the first black priest to be elected as Archbishop of Johannesburg before being elected as Archbishop of Cape Town.

Tutu was arguably admired throughout the world for his role during the country’s transition into a democratic government, where he chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

Since his death, tributes and messages of support to the Tutu family have come in from politically influential people and celebrities from across the world.

Former US president Barack Obama said the Archbishop was a mentor and friend to him.

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a mentor, a friend and a moral compass for me and so many others. A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere.

“He never lost his impish sense of humour and willingness to find humanity in his adversaries, and Michelle and I will miss him dearly,” Obama said.

Queen Elizabeth II echoed Obama’s sentiments, saying she remembered Tutu’s warmth and humour.

“Archbishop Tutu’s loss will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many people in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and across the commonwealth, where he was held in such high affection and esteem,” she said.

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Political Bureau

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