WATCH: I enjoyed babysitting for the Tutus, says former KZN Bishop Rubin Phillip
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DURBAN – Former KwaZulu-Natal Anglican Bishop Rubin Phillip says some of his fondest memories of late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu are babysitting his children and raiding his fridge for food during their college days at Fort Hare.
Phillip, during an interview with Independent Media, said Tutu and his wife Leah would ask him to babysit whenever they went out on movie dates and church visits.
The Struggle stalwart, who fought against apartheid alongside activist and founder of the Black Consciousness Movement Steve Biko in the 60s, said his bond with Tutu grew over the years and he later became a fatherly figure in his life.
With the two men playing pivotal roles in the country’s transition from apartheid to democracy, Phillip said Tutu showed him there was no division between religion and politics.
Video: Jehran Naidoo/ IOL Politics
“I enjoyed babysitting for the Tutu’s when he was a lecturer at the theological college at which I spent three years and on Friday evenings, we would go across.
“He invited us to give a chance for him and his wife to do a visitation or go to the movies or what have you.
“And when he came back, he would just sit up until very late at night, chatting with me and I so appreciated that.
“It’s funny, in that way I developed this close relationship with him and of course, that became more serious later on.
“That relationship lasted a long time and then I used to call him father because my dad died and he kind of filled that gap for me in many ways,” Phillip said.
“He had this prophetic voice that where he spoke against the evils of the country and that was under apartheid, but also under the new political dispensation.
“He hadn’t stopped being critical about the wrong things that the government had done.
“In my observation, he played a critical role in building society,” he said.
Tutu died on Sunday at the age of 90 at the Oasis Care Centre in Cape Town.
Tributes for the late anti-apartheid activist have been pouring in from around the globe since his passing.
Tutu’s funeral will take place on January 1, at the St.George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.