One of South Africa’s most famous religious leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu, has died aged 90
Tutu, a Nobel Peace prize laureate was noted for his efforts in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the churchman’s death marked “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans”.
Archbishop Tutu had helped bequeath “a liberated South Africa,” he added.
Tutu was one of the country’s best known figures at home and abroad.
A contemporary of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, he was was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.
He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system.
Ordained as a priest in 1960, he went on to serve as bishop of Lesotho from 1976-78, assistant bishop of Johannesburg and rector of a parish in Soweto. He became Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985, and was appointed the first black Archbishop of Cape Town. He used his high-profile role to speak out against oppression of black people in his home country, always saying his motives were religious and not political.
After Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, Tutu was appointed by him to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to investigate crimes committed by both whites and blacks during the apartheid era.
He was also credited with coining the term Rainbow Nation to describe the ethnic mix of post-apartheid South Africa, but in his latter years he expressed regret that the nation had not coalesced in the way in which he had dreamt.