On Sunday 26th December, 2021, South Africa mourned the death of an anti-apartheid and Human Rights activist Bishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. Tutu had been in ill health for years. In 2013, he underwent tests for a persistent infection, and he was admitted to hospital several times.
The South African hero was confirmed dead by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa who expressed his condolences to Tutu’s family and friends, recognizing the hero’s hardwork to the nation. As tributes continued to pour in, on Sunday night on all media channels, Ramaphosa delivered a message in hour of the deceased where he commended him for being a patriot and a leader. Ramaphosa further described Tutu as a man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid.
“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world,” Ramaphosa said.
According to the former South Africa’s Prime Minister PJ Patterson, Tutu’s strong moral voice was a very significant factor in the successful struggle against the brutal racist policy of apartheid in South Africa.
Tutu won several awards like the Nobel peace prize, Albert Schweitzer prize for Humanitarian, Gandhi peace prize and many more.
Tutu will be remembered as an indefatigable fighter for human rights, justice, equality and the environment whose unquestionable integrity cements his legacy as a global icon. Collaborating with communities at high risk of infection, the Desmond Tutu Health Foundation (DTHF) has worked tirelessly to fulfill its mission to lessen the impact of the HIV epidemic on individuals and families. Tutu was very critical of the African National Congress (ANC) government in the post-apartheid era, when at times he felt it was misrepresenting South Africans – even warning in 2011 that he would pray for its downfall.
One of Tutu’s famous quotes reads ” if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
By Acram Kayemba