Pretoria - “Our hearts are heavy with sorrow at the passing of the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu,” says Grace Bible Church Presiding Bishop Mosa Sono.
“We as the family of Christ send our most deepest and sincere condolences to his family, friends and associates.
“The Arch was a phenomenal person, dedicated to His calling and putting people first. His life served as an inspiration to all of us.
“He ventured into areas where others feared to go , all because of his unfailing love for people and their welfare.
“He was compassionate and a fully fledged humanitarian. He fulfilled his calling as a teacher and a preacher diligently without expecting anything in return.
“Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu, led from the front, uniting people over a common cause , that of justice for all.
“He outlived the oppressive regime of apartheid which he fought until his nation was liberated, yet he still was not silent when he saw that the majority of people were still not being treated fairly.
“He stood up for the rights of all people, as long as he felt they were being treated unjustly.
“He stood up for the voiceless, down trodden and marginalised people, sometimes to his detriment as it caused him dearly as an individual, but he carried the responsibility on his shoulders with pride and joy. He not only fought for the rights of South Africans. but of humanity, he was a global activist.
The Archbishop was a pioneer in many ways, as the first general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, he brought recognition to the voice of black churches and propagated their views diligently.
“He unified various denominations to be one organised unit, especially on the aspect of the common good for humanity. The foundation he laid during the most difficult period in our history are still holding up the flag of the church until today.
“He lived through many struggles, lending his voice at every given opportunity to advance the many different causes in the world.
“He has been criticised, ostracised and demeaned by many who did not agree with his views, but he was a principled leader who had a big heart and focussed on issues and not on individuals.
“The Arch carried his emotions on his sleeve , anything affecting the oppressed and the marginalised made him sad and his tears could be noticed in front of cameras for the whole world to see.
“Whether it is at the massacre of township children and protesters or as the chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), if it hurt him, he cried openly.
“He expressed his joy and delight with his inimitable laughter. He was genuine in all he did. Who can forget his famous chuckle, sense of humour and dance moves , we will truly miss those moments.
“The Arch was a moral compass, not only for South Africa but for the whole world.
“We are consoled by the fact that he transitioned knowing how much he was loved and adored by all who came into contact with him.
“The many awards and recognitions he received from all over the world , speak volumes about the person he was.
“We need to uphold the values he taught us and hold on to the lessons we learned from his active life.
“As part of the body of Christ we say go well servant of God; you ran your race diligently and with distinction. We will never forget your sacrifices for humanity, we will uphold your legacy and keep your Spirit alive. May your beautiful Spirit rest in Eternal Peace.”