WATCH LIVE: Interfaith service for Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
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Cape Town - Scores of people paid tribute to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at an interfaith service at Cape Town City Hall on Tuesday.
As hundreds gathered in open air spaces around city hall and tens of thousands tuned in from their television screens speaker after speaker paid tribute to nobel peace laureate.
It comes as news emerged that Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu will lie in state at St George’s Cathedral from Thursday, instead of only Friday as it was initially announced.
This was to give the public more time to file past his coffin to reflect the simplicity with which he asked to be buried.
The office of the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town said in a statement the public viewing will be allowed from 9am until 5pm on both days.
“Strict Covid protocols apply and the public is urged to observe these protocols as directed by the Covid officer and ushers on duty,” it said.
The Archbishop Tutu IP Trust and the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said the two-day period was aimed to accommodate mourners wishing to visit St George’s Cathedral to pay personal tribute.
“The archbishop was very clear on his wishes for his funeral. He wanted no ostentatiousness or lavish spending.
“He asked that the coffin be the cheapest available and that a bouquet of carnations from his family be the only flowers in the cathedral," they said.
The funeral of Tutu will be held on Saturday at St George’s Cathedral at 10am.
Bishop Michael Nuttall will be officiating.
President Cyril Ramaphosa declared that Tutu will be accorded a special official funeral category 1.
Tutu, the last surviving South African laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize, died at the age of 90 on Sunday.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said on Tuesday Ramaphosa designated the special official funeral category 1 in recognition of the late Archbishop Emeritus’s distinguished life and invaluable contribution to the nation.
A special official funeral category I is meant for persons of extraordinary credentials specifically designated by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
“The distinguishing features of a Special Official Funeral – Category 1 include ceremonial elements by the South African National Defence Force (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,” Gungubele said.
He also said as part of the funeral designation, the national flag will be half-masted throughout the country and at South African diplomatic missions worldwide from sunset Tuesday until the evening of the funeral.
“The funeral will be held in compliance with the provisions of the Covid-19 health regulations that apply under Adjusted Alert Level 1 of the national state of disaster.”