The Arch never hesitated to express his critical voice - Parliament’s Presiding Officers
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Cape Town - National Assembly Speaker Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo say the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu unapologetically spoke the truth to power no matter the circumstances.
This is according to Parliament officials.
In a joint statement, Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo paid tribute to the immense contribution Tutu made to the struggle against apartheid and the creation of the new democratic dispensation.
They said the nation has not only lost a true advocate and a gallant fighter of liberation and democracy, but it has lost a father and the quintessence of love, peace and hope.
"Archbishop Tutu diligently served the country and had remained faithful to his calling of service to the people. He fought hard for the liberation and freedom of the country and has, through his humble nature, inspired all of us and led with great wisdom and passion worthy of emulation," both Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said.
They reflected on 9 May 1994, the day Tutu introduced South Africa's first democratically elected President Nelson Mandela, from the same balcony at the City Hall in Cape Town, where Mr Mandela had delivered his first speech as a free man on 11 February 1990.
“On that day, 9 May 1994, the first democratic Parliament was constituted, and the 400-member National Assembly had unanimously elected Mr Mandela as the President of the Republic of South Africa. Archbishop Tutu reminded the crowd gathered on the Grand Parade opposite the City Hall that 9 May was a day South Africa had waited for 300 years,” they said.
Tutu continued to serve as an “irreplaceable voice of reason, an ever-flowing fountain of wisdom, a beacon of hope and an incomparable moral compass” for the nation of South Africa and the world.
“He never wavered on matters of principle. As a servant of God and a spiritual leader of His people, he spoke and led with truth; he shouldered the pain of his people and battled with them for a life of dignity, justice and equality.
“He fought fiercely and with great courage and fearlessness against the apartheid regime, which he described as "is evil, totally and without remainder."
During post-liberation, he fought with equal force and zeal, laying a solid foundation for peace and reconciliation for new South Africa,” Mapisa-Nqakula and Masondo said.