Jerusalem24 – Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African Nobel Peace Prize laurete famed for fighting against apartheid in his country during the 1980s had passed away yesterday at the age of 90.
The President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa announced Tutu’s death in a state. He said that the archbishop’s passing marked “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa.”
Bells rang at midday Monday from St. George’s Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town to honor Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu the day after his passing.
The bells at the cathedral, where Tutu urged South Africans of all races to work together against apartheid, will toll for 10 minutes at noon for five days to mark Tutu’s life.
Tutu’s body will lie in state at the cathedral in Cape Town on Friday before a requiem mass is held Saturday, Makgoba said. In addition, an ecumenical service will be held for Tutu on Wednesday in South Africa’s capital, Pretoria.
South Africans are laying flowers at the cathedral, in front of Tutu’s home in Cape Town’s Milnerton area, and in front of his former home in Soweto.
A supporter of Palestinian human rights, Tutu was a critic of Israel for its treatment of Palestinians. He often called for sanctions and a global boycott against Israel to force it into a change of policies.
He compared Israeli policy to the situation of the apartheid regime he lived under in South Africa.
In a 2002 address that was published in The Guardian, he said he supported Israel’s right to “secure borders,” but went on: “What is not so understandable, not justified, is what it did to another people to guarantee its existence. I’ve been very deeply distressed in my visit to the Holy Land; it reminded me so much of what happened to us black people in South Africa.”
The activist prelate worked against South Africa’s apartheid regime that oppressed the country’s Black majority. Following the end of apartheid in 1994, when South Africa became a democracy, Tutu chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that documented atrocities and sought to promote national reconciliation. Tutu also became one of the world’s most prominent religious leaders to champion LGBTQ rights.