WATCH: Patricia De Lille recounts the Archbishop’s last 40 minutes before his passing

By Tarryn-Leigh Solomons Time of article published Dec 28, 2021

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Cape Town: Public Works and Infrastructure Minister Patricia de Lille gave a recount of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's last moments before he passed away on Sunday.

Speaking outside Tutu’s Milnerton home on Tuesday, De Lille said she was present on the day of his passing.

“For the past two weeks, we have been taking turns to be with Mama Leah 24-hours a day.

“On Boxing Day, it was my turn to provide relief. I had to relieve Dr Mamphela Ramphele for her to go home and change. When I arrived, I was sitting and talking with Mama Leah while we were watching him.

“She asked me to put her in the bed with him, and just about 40 minutes after I arrived, we could see he was going (dying).

“I was more moved by Mama Leah who was saying 'my baby' (to Tutu) and holding his hand, very lovingly keeping her head on his chest and then we could just see that is the last. It is a moment that I will never forget in my life," said De Lille.

De Lille, Ramphele and UDM leader Bantu Holomisa also form part of a committee tasked with planning the Archbishop’s final send-off on Saturday.

Meanwhile, President Cyril Ramaphosa is expected to deliver the eulogy at the funeral.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba on Monday indicated that the Arch's coffin would lie in State at the Cathedral on Thursday and Friday.

This will allow for the public to pay their last respects to the Arch over two days instead of one day, as initially announced at Monday's press conference in Cape Town.

His ashes will be interred and kept in the mausoleum at the Cathedral.

A maximum of 100 people will be able to attend the funeral.

Makgoba insisted that due to Covid-19 regulations, the public should opt to watch the funeral proceedings from home.

The funeral starts at 10am.

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Political Bureau

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