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In the struggle against apartheid

A new and exciting permanent exhibition celebrating key aspects of the legacy of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu has entered Cape Town’s cultural heritage precinct. A first of its kind on the African continent, the state-of-the-art exhibition explores the multi-faceted life of this loved and respected global icon. The exhibition is housed at the historic Old Granary building, the home of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and was curated in partnership with the Apartheid Museum.

The exhibition maps the Arch’s legacy through six different themes and residents and visitors to Cape Town alike are invited to come and experience…

Residents and visitors to Cape Town alike are invited to come and experience the journey of one of South Africa’s greatest sons. Upon entering the main exhibition, you will be greeted by the Arch and his anchor, his wife Nomalizo Leah Tutu, a life-long enabler to all his significant contributions in South Africa and globally. A special tribute to them as a couple is celebrated in the room entitled ”Side by Side”.



Adults R50

Pensioners R25

Students R25

Children under 12 years old FREE

School groups: please fill in this form

Opening Times: Tuesdays to Saturdays

09h30 to 15h30

1. Apartheid Education:

The Most Evil Act of All

Desmond Tutu started his working career as a school teacher. When the South African government introduced Bantu Education he and his wife Leah resigned in protest. Tutu decided to join priesthood and this led us to the Arch we know and love today.

2. The Struggle in the Church:

Fighting a False Gospel

Since the early 19th century, South African Christianity has been the site of a struggle between those in the churches who supported colonialism and racial oppression and those who fought it. The perpetrators of Apartheid argued that the policy could be justified theologically, but the churches, organised around the Christian Council of South Africa (later the South African Council of Churches (SACC) used the Christian scriptures to condemn apartheid. The Arch also supported the ordination of women and declared that he could never worship a homophobic God.

3. Faith in Action:

The Campaign for Sanctions

In 1984 the Archbishop was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and heralded as “a unifying leader figure” in the campaign to end apartheid peacefully. While he defended the right of the liberation movements to pursue armed struggle, he himself pursued sanctions as the last peaceful means of defeating apartheid. 

4. Protest and Peace-Making:

In the Streets and Stadiums

In the uprising against apartheid, Desmond Tutu joined other clergy in taking to the streets and stadiums of South Africa, channeling people’s anger by denouncing apartheid, stepping in to negotiate with police, troops and defiant youth to prevent violence, and leading peaceful protests against the government.

5. Unfinished Business:

Tutu, Truth and Reconciliation

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission, chaired by the Arch, emerged as a post-apartheid compromise between those who had enforced apartheid – and wanted a blanket amnesty for their crimes – and the liberation movements – who envisaged criminal trials for the perpetrators of apartheid. A decade after the Commission completed its work, Desmond Tutu declared the Commission’s business as “scandalously unfinished” as the ANC government moved to shelve the report and recommendations of the commission.

6. TU+TU = Freedom

The exhibition aims to be more than just an ode to the past or a monument to the Arch. Its intent is to challenge and inspire the youth to take up the baton of courageous and ethical leadership and emulate the unwavering values that the Arch demonstrated throughout his life. The Arch had a global impact. You too can change the world!

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