26 December 2021

South Africa Loses One of the Great Spirits and Moral Giants of Our Age

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu passed away on the morning of 26 December 2021 in Cape Town at the age of 90.

Revelling in his humanity, in both words and actions, Tutu showed fellow South Africans and people across the world what a life lived in love looks like.

One of the world’s most respected spiritual and human rights leaders, Tutu was a living testament to faith in action, insuppressible in his opposition against the evils of racism, oppression, intolerance, and injustice not just during apartheid South Africa, but wherever in the world he saw moral wrongs, especially impacting the most vulnerable and voiceless in society.

Tutu was a healer at heart, an eternal optimist (a true “prisoner of hope”) and wry humourist. He will be remembered for his powerful words in defence of the most vulnerable among us, his infinite capacity for empathy, his quick wit, his infectious laugh, and his unfailing ability to turn toward the light even during unbearably dark times.

Go well, dearest Arch. In you, the world has lost a force of reckoning. You will be deeply missed. May we always be guided by your prophetic vision for our country and for humanity:

“God calls on us to be his partners to work for a new kind of society where people count; where people matter more than things, more than possessions; where human life is not just respected but positively revered; where people will be secure and not suffer from the fear of hunger, from ignorance, from disease; where there will be more gentleness, more caring, more sharing, more compassion, more laughter; where there is peace and not war”.

Rest in peace, lala ngoxolo, robala ka khotso, robala ka kgotso, tsamaya hantle, robala ka khotso, vha edele nga mulalo, rus in vrede, Etlela hiku rhula, otaung oa ha boHlalele.