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26 Dec 2021

South African Anti-Apartheid Activist Desmond Tutu Passes Away at 90

South African Anti-Apartheid Activist Desmond Tutu Passes Away at 90

The Index Today

Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s first Black Anglican Archbishop and prominent anti-apartheid activist, has died aged 90.

Tutu died in Cape Town on Sunday from complications following a long battle with prostate cancer. “Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said of the cleric’s passing.

A small-statured man, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient was a champion of Black rights in South Africa, staunchly fighting racial discrimation in a country clouded by apartheid and white supremacy that saw Black activists, notably former President Nelson Mandela, incarcerated for daring to dissent.

Over a two-period that ran from 1996 to 1998, Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that sought to highlight the plight of Black people under the racist white regime in South Africa further burdened by apartheid.

Throughout his life, Desmond Tutu has maintained that his activism and advocacy for Black people stemmed solely from his morality, informed by his religious beliefs rather than politics.

©Photo: JOHN STILLWELL / POOL / AFP