Statement from Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

My fellow South Africans.

It is a year since we lost our beloved Madiba, our extraordinary pillar of strength.

We thank God for Him and the example he gave us.

He taught us about the worth of a human being – all human beings: When he encountered you he never looked at your dress or your ethnicity or class. He respected everyone for who they were.

The monument to Madiba’s life is our non-racial democracy and our Constitution. We must treasure our Constitution because it directly reflects our astonishing founder.

The lesson that Madiba taught us, over and over, was: Don’t give up hope. This is as valid in the context of his legacy today as it was in 1963, when he was sentenced to life imprisonment, and in 1994.

Our obligation to Madiba is to continue to build the society he envisaged, to follow his example. A society founded on human rights, in which all can share in the rich bounty God bestowed on our country. In which all can live in dignity, together. A society of better tomorrows for all.

Let us follow in his footsteps and do ourselves proud.

God bless you.


This statement was issued for the Desmond &Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation by Oryx Media.