Archbishop Tutu turns 90 today. He is seen with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Picture taken from Desmond Tutu’s Facebook page
Archbishop Tutu turns 90 today. He is seen with His Holiness, the Dalai Lama. Picture taken from Desmond Tutu’s Facebook page

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s top 5 quotes about democracy

By IOL Reporter Time of article published Oct 7, 2021

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Durban - Desmond Mpilo Tutu, or Archbishop Desmond Tutu as he is widely known, today celebrates his 90th birthday.

The Anglican cleric was born in Klerksdorp on October 7, 1931, to Xhosa and Tswana parents. He attended mission schools, and due to financial constraints, could not fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor.

He went on to become a school teacher, and later, a priest.

Tutu later married his sweetheart, Nomalizo Leah Shenxane, and together, they had four children: Trevor Armstrong Thamsanqa Tutu, Theresa Ursula Thandeka Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu and Mpho Andrea Tutu.

Here are Tutu's top 5 quotes about democracy:

If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.

Freedom and liberty lose out by default because good people are not vigilant.

There are different kinds of justice. Retributive justice is largely Western. The African understanding is far more restorative – not so much to punish as to redress or restore a balance that has been knocked askew.

What has happened to us? It seems as if we have perverted our freedom, our rights into license, into being irresponsible. Perhaps we did not realise just how apartheid has damaged us so that we seem to have lost our sense of right and wrong.

Every situation of justice is an occasion where someone is being humiliated, and they want to restore their dignity. They think: "I am a human being, and I may not be able to defeat these people or destroy them, but I will hit out at them because I am not a thing. I am human."

IOL

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