South Africa anti-apartheid rights activist and one of the leaders against the White minority rule in the country, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu dies early this morning at Frail Care Centre in South Africa.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a known freedom fighter who used a non violent campaign to demand freedom against White minority rule and called for an end to apartheid system in South Africa.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu soon after becoming the General Secretary of Council of Churches in South Africa and subsequently the head of All Africa Conference of Churches between 1975 to 1986, warned the National Party Government in South Africa that anger at apartheid would lead to racial violence, emphasizing and stressing on non violent protest to press home their demand.
His legendary display and promotion of non violent campaign against White minority rule and the apartheid system earns him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. The award was given to him in recognition for his campaign of non-violent opposition to South Africa White minority rule.
The blacks were the majority in terms of numbers in South Africa but the majority blacks were oppressed and brutally treated by the White minority who were in control of government.
Despite the powers and chances of his people, majority blacks who are larger in numbers overrunning the minority whites, Desmond Tutu continued and insisted on non violent approach in collaborating closely to the anti-apartheid struggle, alongside with Nelson Mandela which thus succeeded in doing the extraordinary work of holding the white apartheid regime to account.
Desmond Tutu whose sense of humour and ever smiling face filled with laughter became the Chairperson of the South Africa Truth and Reconciliation Commission after apartheid ended in the early 90s and the long-imprisoned Nelson Mandela became president of the country.
As the Chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Desmond Tutu investigated the rights abuses by both the White minority and the Black majority during the struggle for an end to the apartheid system.
Desmond Tutu before death was the last surviving known South Africa Laurette of the Nobel Peace Prize.
He coined the phrase “Rainbow Nation” to describe post apartheid South Africa as a multiracial or multicultural democratic nation after the country first fully democratic election in 1994.
Desmond Tutu was born on October 7, 1931 by a poor family at Klerksdorp in South Africa.
He trained as a teacher and in 1960 he was ordained as an Anglican priest.
He moved to United Kingdom in 1962 to study theology at King’s College in London.
He returned to South Africa in 1966 teaching at the Federal Theological Seminary and later the University of Botswana, Lesotho and Swaziland.
In 1985, he became the Bishop of Johannesburg and in 1986, he became the Archbishop of Cape Town, the most Senior position in Southern Africa Anglican hierarchy according to Wikipedia.
While occupying the position, Wikipedia report indicated Desmond Tutu promoted a consensus model of leadership resulting in the introduction of female priests.
In a statement confirming his death this morning, South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa described Desmond Tutu as; “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”
Desmond Tutu had been battling with ill health for years.
He underwent tests for a persistent infection in 2013 and he was admitted to hospital several occasions in the following years.
Former US President Barack Obama awarded Desmond Tutu the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Tutu in 2012 was awarded a 1 million dollar grant by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for “his lifelong commitment to speaking truth to power.”
Desmond Tutu in 2013 received the Templeton Prize for his life-long work in advancing spiritual principles such as love and forgiveness which were considered to have helped liberate people around the world.
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