Desmond Tutu, Anglican archbishop who helped end apartheid, dead at 90

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Desmond Tutu – the South African civil rights activist, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and retired Anglican Archbishop – died in Cape Town on Sunday at the age of 90, Reuters reports.

No cause of death was provided, but according to The New York Times, Tutu was fighting a long battle with prostate cancer.

Tutu was ordained an Anglican priest in 1961, consecrated bishop in 1975, and installed as Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986. He received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his nonviolent activism in the anti-apartheid movement.

In 1990, former South African President FW de Klerk released Nelson Mandela from prison and took other steps to facilitate the country’s transition to a multiracial democracy. Tutu served from 1996 to 1998 as chairman of the new government’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which shed light on injustices committed under the apartheid regime, offering amnesty to perpetrators and restitution to victims according to claims. principles of “restorative justice”.

Even after his retirement from his civil and ecclesiastical functions, Tutu remained active. He publicly opposed several of Mandela’s presidential successors, defended gay rights, and opposed Israel’s occupation of Palestine.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa posted a tweet announcing Tutu’s death and call he “a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical idea that faith without works is dead.” Ramaphosa too referred to Tutu’s death as “another chapter of mourning in our nation’s farewell to a generation of exceptional South Africans who left us a liberated South Africa”. FW de Klerk passed away last month.

Tutu is survived by four children, seven grandchildren and his wife, Nomalizo Leah Shenxane, with whom he has been married for over 65 years.



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