Gandhi’s granddaughter remembers Desmond Tutu as a great inspiration
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Durban - "He was a great inspiration."
This is how Ella Gandhi, the granddaughter of human rights activist Mahatma Ghandi, remembers Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Ghandi and Tutu share a common history of using non-violent ways to help bring down the apartheid regime.
Ella recalled the many times she interacted with Tutu on several projects – including their work in the trenches in the fight against apartheid, and, later, on climate change issues.
She said that in recent years, shorty before Tutu retired following old-age induced ailments, the former Anglican Archbishop was involved in the work of bringing about peace in the world. They both worked under the banner of Religion for Peace – an international coalition of representatives from the world's major religions, dedicated to promoting peace in troubled zones.
"I admire him greatly, he was a great inspiration... he was a voice of justice and voice of reason," Ella said.
She lamented his death, saying it was not only a loss for South Africa but for the entire world, as Tutu was a global icon. She said that in order for South Africans to honour his legacy, they should ensure that every citizen enjoys the freedom Tutu was in the forefront of fighting for.
"This is not [only] a loss for South Africa, but also a loss for the entire world," she said.
In mourning Tutu's death, the SA Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) said his name will forever remain in the annals of history for his role in fighting against the inhumane apartheid government, which eventually fell in 1994.
"A man of the cloth who was always led by his conscience to speak truth to power, Tutu used the pulpit to make known the unjust and inhumane conditions the black majority were living under exerted by the apartheid system.
"We have no doubt that his outspokenness is one of the many straws that broke the camel’s back and caused the Nationalist Party to relent and allow for a democratic government to be ushered in," the union said.