Desmond Tutu, the South African anti-apartheid icon has died aged 90, President Cyril Ramaphosa says.
“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
He “distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights”, Ramaphosa added.
Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.
“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world.
“Ultimately, at the age of 90, he died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town this morning,” Dr Ramphela Mamphele, acting chairperson of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust and Co-ordinator of the Office of the Archbishop, said in a statement on behalf of the Tutu family.
Born in the small town of Klerksdorp, in Johannesburg, on October 7, 1931, Archbishop Tutu was the son of a domestic worker and a school teacher.
He married his wife Leah in 1955. They had four children.