Cape Town - Western Cape provincial legislature Speaker Masizole Mnqasela on Thursday said the provincial Parliament will look at various measures to ensure there was a lasting legacy for the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
“We don’t want to have a knee-jerk reaction. His death has just occurred,” Mnqasela said.
“What we need to do is to have a lasting legacy and a symbol that will truly emulate the life of the giant of his stature. That is something as Parliament we are to look at,” he said.
Mnqasela was among the those who visited Tutu’s Milnerton home, where they were received by the Arch’s daughter, Mpho, who accompanied them to the house to meet her mother and Tutu's widow Leah Tutu and other family members.
He said the provincial legislature would, in its various platforms, look at a symbol that would be a lasting legacy for Tutu.
“He was never in Parliament and never wanted to be in public office. That shows that you don’t have to be elected to public office to serve the people.
“This emboldened and, of course, said to civil society organisations and faith-based leadership, that there is a much bigger role to play not just on the pulpit but, of course, ensuring you influence policy, decision and how the country is governed.”
Mnqasela said Tutu has been an exemplary South African citizen.
“He has been a great human and, of course, an outstanding South African. We deal with a situation, not just only South Africans mourn their own but this was an internationalist, a global icon,” he said.
He also said Tutu, as a man of his stature, did not just focus on global issues but was drawn to local issues that affected the downtrodden and the most vulnerable.
“It is a symbolic gesture for us as the Western Cape provincial Parliament to come here and to extend our heartfelt condolences and share our sympathy with everybody, the people of the Western Cape, South Africa and the world. We need to emulate what Tata stood for.”
Mnqasela recalled that Tutu had, despite the trials and tribulations, remained focused from the time he fought the apartheid white-only minority government and continued to fight the democratic majority government when it faltered on issues of HIV-Aids ARV treatment, among others.
“He was very much concerned about how people lived, how the government treats ordinary people. As the Western Cape provincial parliament we should strive to achieve in his memory.
“We need to act out all the values and principles he espoused as a human being,” he said.
Mnqasela also said the best way for South Africa and the world to remember and celebrate Tutu’s life was to continue on the deeds he was pursuing on an ongoing basis.
“Our Arch can only rest if we continue and, of course, ensure we drive the agenda that unites all people and better the lives of the most vulnerable and downtrodden in society. That is the best way I think we need to remember him,” he added.
Meanwhile, general workers were busy erecting tents in the yard and fitting sofas in a big marquee, among others.
A security guard manned the gate while the police officers kept a watchful eye along with traffic officers.