WATCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa visits Tutu residence to pay his respects
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PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa says while the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a sad moment, it is also a momentous occasion to celebrate a life gigantic life.
Ramaphosa visited the Arch’s home in Cape Town earlier this afternoon following his passing on Sunday morning at the age of 90.
“Archbishop Tutu led millions of our people in the Struggle against apartheid and when apartheid was defeated he also led the process of reconciliation.
“As he became concerned about some of the errors of the governing party he spoke out. He was brave. He was forthright and we loved him just for that because he was a voice for the voiceless,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “He was the one person who campaigned for justice, for people living with HIV, for the LGBTQI+ community and the rejected and oppressed people, not only in our country,” the president said.
According to Ramaphosa, Tutu exuded love and embraced South Africans across the various racial groupings in the country and was the one person who promoted social cohesion.
“A lot of things can be said about him. His global status, the love that he has been showered with across the various countries in the world just speaks volumes for what he stood for and what people saw in him as a great leader.
“We are enormously diminished by his passing, but at the same time, we are filled with a celebratory moment. We should use this opportunity to celebrate his life and draw as much as we possibly can – the various good things he sought to impart to us,” Ramaphosa said.
Tutu will be laid to rest on January 1 and his funeral service will take place at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.
Funeral proceedings are expected to start at 10am.
During a press briefing on Monday, Archbishop Thabo Makgoba said that the Arch will lie in state on Friday.
He said Tutu's ashes would be interred and kept in the mausoleum at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.
A maximum of 100 people will be able to attend the funeral.
“Our lists of possible attendees at the funeral run to 400 or 500 names, and more than 100 clergy. But Covid regulations restrict attendance at funerals to a maximum of 100. Only a fraction of those who want to be there can be accommodated in the Cathedral. So please don't get on a bus to Cape Town,” Makgoba said.