'Moral compass': South Africa's anti-apartheid hero Tutu praised at state funeral

The state funeral for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a hero of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, began on Saturday at St.

President Cyril Ramaphosa gave the keynote address for Tutu, who was awarded the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize for nonviolent resistance to rule by the white minority. His death on Sunday at the age of 90 sparked a flurry of oaths from around the world.

Tutu’s widow Nomalizo Leah, known as “Mama Leah”, sat in a wheelchair in the front row of the ward, wrapped in a purple scarf the color of her husband’s clerical robes. Ramaphosa wore a matching tie.

Clergymen pray next to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s coffin during his funeral service at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa on Saturday.POOL / Reuters

“He was small in stature, morally and spiritually a giant among us,” said retired Bishop Michael Nuttall, who served as Tutu’s assistant for many years.

Life-size posters of Tutu with folded hands were posted outside the cathedral, where the number of parishioners was restricted in accordance with Covid-19 measures.

Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who leads the worldwide Anglican communion, said on a recorded message: “People said ‘When we were in the dark he brought light’ and that… has illuminated countries around the world struggling with fear, conflict , Persecution, oppression. “

Tutu’s family members were clearly emotional.

His daughter, Reverend Nontombi Naomi Tutu, thanked the well-wishers for their support as the funeral mass began, and her voice trembled briefly with emotion.

Hundreds of well-wishers lined up on Thursday and Friday to pay their last respects to Tutu when he was all right in the cathedral.

Widely revered for his moral integrity across all racial and cultural boundaries in South Africa, Tutu has never ceased to fight for his vision of a “rainbow nation” where all races in South Africa can live in harmony after apartheid.

‘Moral Compass’

Cape Town, the city where he spent most of his later life, was unusually rainy on Saturday as the mourners gathered to bid farewell to the man affectionately known as “The Arch” and often referred to as South Africa’s “moral compass.” “was designated.

A small crowd of around 100 watched the funeral on a large screen in the Grand Parade opposite City Hall, where Tutu accompanied Nelson Mandela during his first speech after his release from prison.

“We have come to pay our respects to our father Tutu. We love our father, who taught us love, unity and respect for one another, ”said Mama Phila, a 54-year-old Rastafarian dressed in the green, red and yellow colors of her faith.

As the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, Tutu transformed St.

His body is cremated in a private ceremony after the funeral mass and buried behind the pulpit.

Mandela, who became the country’s first president after apartheid and died in December 2013, once said of his friend: “Sometimes shrill, often tender, never fearful and rarely without humor, Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless.”

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