Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu (7 October, 1931–26 December, 2021) who passed on yesterday was a giant of African history and international solidarity, NBM of Africa has affirmed.
The Pan-Africanist movement said it received the news of the demise of the liberation icon and religious leader “with shock but with total submission to the will of God.”
The late cleric was a South African theologian but renowned anti-apartheid and human right activist on the world stage.
He was the Bishop of Johannesburg for a year from 1985 and the Archbishop of Cape Town from 1986 to 1996, in both cases being the first black African to hold the position. Theologically, he sought to fuse black African nationalist ideas and Christian liberation theology.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Oluwatosin Dixon, NBM said the world would miss the teachings of the late Bishop. “As a body, we pray that death should be peaceful eternal rest for him,” the statement said.
Tutu was fearless and spoke against the discriminatory policies of the former apartheid enclave which were anchored on institutional racism. It was at a time that South Africans were afraid to speak against the brutal White supremacist Pretoria regime which regarded black Africans inferior.
Tutu’s political soulmate was the late iconic liberation figure, Dr. Nelson Mandela, who came out of decades in jail to be the country’s first president democratically elected under universal suffrage.
Both liberation icons got the Nobel Peace Prize. Expectedly, eulogies by leaders and others were still pouring in from all parts of the world for Tutu who lived a selfless life among the ordinary people, stood up for them and the country while preaching racial harmony and reconciliation.
The world cannot forget in a hurry when he appeared before the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by President Mandela and publicly shed tears while remembering the horrors of apartheid.