South African anti-apartheid leader and Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu died Sunday due to complication from cancer at the age of 90.

Tutu died in Cape Town, South Africa, the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said in a statement.

"Tutu was a living embodiment of faith in action, speaking boldly against racism, injustice, corruption, and oppression, not just in apartheid South Africa but wherever in the world he saw wrongdoing, especially when it impacted the most vulnerable and voiceless in society," the foundation said.

Throughout the years of apartheid in South Africa, Tutu served as a guiding force in the nonviolent anti-apartheid movement. His work in helping to end the apartheid earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

Tutu retired from public life at the age of 79, but continued to speak out on international issues, such as the oppression of Palestinians, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and issues surrounding HIV/AIDS.

The archbishop had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 and was hospitalized several times in the following years.

“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," South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.

"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," said Ramaphosa. 

“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," he said.

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