Following the the death of anti-Apartheid and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Sunday in Cape Town, tributes continue to pour in for the global icon .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)
Following the the death of anti-Apartheid and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Sunday in Cape Town, tributes continue to pour in for the global icon .Photo: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency (ANA)

African and world leaders react to Tutu’s death

By Chad Williams Time of article published Dec 26, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - Following the the death of anti-Apartheid and human rights activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Sunday in Cape Town, tributes continue to pour in for the global icon.

His holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama of Tibet, who was a close friend of Tutu penned a letter to the Archbishop’s daughter, Rev. Mpho Tutu.

“Please accept my heartfelt condolences,” he wrote, “and convey the same to your mother and other members of your family. I pray for him.

“As you know, over the years, your father and I enjoyed an enduring friendship. I remember the many occasions we spent time together, including the week here at Dharamsala in 2015 when we were able to share our thoughts on how to increase peace and joy in the world. The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished.

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was entirely dedicated to serving his brothers and sisters for the greater common good. He was a true humanitarian and a committed advocate of human rights. His work for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was an inspiration for others around the world,” said a statement.

“With his passing away, we have lost a great man, who lived a truly meaningful life. He was devoted to the service of others, especially those who are least fortunate. I am convinced the best tribute we can pay him and keep his spirit alive is to do as he did and constantly look to see how we too can be of help to others.”

Former president of Liberia Ellen Johnson Sirleaf took to Twitter to say: “With the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Africa has lost an icon, a father to us all who fought injustice and oppression in all its forms and inspired a generation to strive for a more equal society. May he rest in everlasting peace.”

Director General of the World Health Organization Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also conveyed his condolences on Sunday via American microblogging application Twitter.

“My condolences go to the many people in and worldwide whose lives have been touched by the late Desmond Tutu.

Tedros said Archbishop Tutu was a peacemaker, a champion of justice & health equity and a man whose great wisdom was matched only by his love devotion to helping others.

Hakainde Hichilema, President of Zambia said that he and his country are saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who passed away in Cape Town this morning, at the age of 90.

Hichileman said Archbishop Emeritus Tutu belongs to a generation of selfless African leaders that gallantly challenged the injustices of apartheid and racial subjugation against the African people in South Africa and other marginalised people around the world.

“We wish to express our profound condolences to his widow Nomalizo Leah Tutu, his family and the people of South Africa on the passing away of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. May His Soul Rest In Peace.”

Namibian President Dr Hage G. Geingob also extended his condolences to the people of South Africa on Sunday following the passing of anti-Apartheid activist and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu.

“The passing of a man of faith, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, a dedicated freedom fighter, a man of strong convictions and anti-Apartheid icon who stood firm with our struggle for liberation is saddening.

President Geingob said Archbishop Tutu, “The Arch,” as he was affectionately known, symbolised resilience and courage in the face of adversity and optimism during a period of hopelessness. His unrelenting commitment to the universal values of peace, unity, solidarity, freedom and justice for the people of our region triumphed when we gained independence in 1990 and Apartheid rule was dismantled in South Africa in 1994.

“As Namibians, and people of this region, we owe this global figure and exceptional man of God a huge debt of gratitude for his indelible footprint in our fight for freedom and justice against oppression, racism and white minority rule. Although devastating, the passing of the “Last man standing”, Archbishop Tutu is a sharp reminder about the need for us to continue with his message of holding hands in pursuit of unity for a better and brighter future for the people of our country and our region.”

“On behalf of the people and the Government of the Republic of Namibia, I wish to extend sincere condolences to his wife, Nomalizo Leah Tutu, the children, the entire family and the people of South Africa. Hambe Kahle Archbishop Desmond Tutu!”

Leader of the Australian Labor Party Anthony Albanese said he was sad to hear about Desmond Tutu’s passing.

“A giant in the fight for equality and justice, he’ll be missed and remembered for his role in transforming South Africa and dismantling apartheid.

Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Boris Johnson said he is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

“He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa - and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour. “

African News Agency (ANA)

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