1996 – 2006

Lending a Voice to Peace

The Arch steps out of the spotlight and into a space of solitude to focus his energy and time on lending his voice to leadership, physical health and continued peace.

When bestowing the award, President Mandela said “He is renowned for selfless commitment to the poor, the oppressed and downtrodden. With his colleagues he remained an effective voice of the people of South Africa when so many of their leaders were imprisoned, exiled, banned and restricted”. He was also acknowledged by the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Carey with the Archbishop of Canterbury Award for outstanding service to the Anglican Communion. As well as bestowed with the Grand Merit Cross handed to Archbishop Tutu in November 1996 by then German President Professor Roman Herzog to mention the few.

In 1997, The “Arch” was diagnosed with prostate cancer and underwent successful treatment in America. Despite this ailment, he continued to work with the commission. He subsequently became patron of the South African Prostate Cancer Foundation, which was established in 2007.

On October 28, 1998 the Commission presented its report, which condemned both sides for their atrocities. The TRC has become a model for a number of similar post-conflict procedures around the world. The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre (DTPC) was co-founded by Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Mrs. Leah Tutu. The Centre plays a unique role in building and leveraging the legacy of Archbishop Tutu to enable peace in the world. Since Apartheid’s fall, the Arch Emeritus Tutu has campaigned for gay rights and spoken out on a wide range of subjects, among them the Israel-Palestine conflict and his opposition to the Iraq War.

He divided his time between homes in Soweto’s Orlando West and Milnerton. In 2000, he opened an office in Cape Town. In June 2000, the Cape Town-based Desmond Tutu Peace Centre was launched, which in 2003 launched an Emerging Leadership Program. Conscious that his presence in South Africa might overshadow Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane, the “Arch” agreed to a two-year visiting professorship at Emory University. This took place between 1998 and 2000, and during the period he wrote a book about the TRC, No Future Without Forgiveness.