The little man dressed as the Purple Archbishop has a halo of laughter and laughter that crosses the borders of South Africa. Desmond Tutu, hero of the fight against apartheid and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, celebrated his 90th birthday in Cape Town on Thursday.
The country’s first black Anglican archbishop arrived at St. George’s Cathedral in a wheelchair with his wife, Leah.
The service organized on this occasion and broadcast live on television “Sunday Birthday” opened with “Birthday Greetings” sung by the entire Assembly. Desmond Tutu, wearing a black suit, did not speak.
“Today South Africa needs people who will not hesitate to condemn other tutu and corruption,” Cape Archbishop Tabo McGobba told AFP before the service.
In the evening, the Desmond Tutu Foundation hosts an online conference with the Dalai Lama, Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland, and Greena Machel, widow of human rights activist and Nelson Mandela.
“Arch”, as he knows, was to spend the whole day with family and loved ones.
Underlining his “honesty, integrity and fearlessness”, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his wishes in a statement: “For almost three decades, you have been the voice of conscience.”
U.S. President Joe Biden praised the priest’s “courage and moral clarity” that inspired him as a politician.
“Archbishop is an extraordinary man,” said Cello Hatang, head of the Mandela Foundation. Cartoonist Sapiro, who has been happily drawing the lawyer for a long time, also wrote “his greetings” on Twitter.
On social networks, messages are pouring in from regular internet users, with some sharing videos of Desmond Tutu dancing in India on the Dalai Lama’s 80th birthday.
– “Rainbow” –
The voice of black South Africans in the fight against white racist rule, Desmond Tutu has not spoken publicly in recent years. He has been suffering from prostate cancer for over twenty years.
Retired from 2010, his last general appearance was marked with a simple hand, and since May he has been vaccinated against Kovid.
He was a tireless defender of rights and a close confidante of Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s first black president.
Tutu campaigned for the adoption of international sanctions against the hated regime, organizing large peace rallies in Cape Town.
He later brought the country into the process of pardoning the truth and head of the Reconciliation Commission, which is responsible for resolving the crimes of apartheid. Calling his country the “rainbow nation”, he is convinced that the South African experience will help overcome conflict in other parts of the world.
But for a new generation in South Africa, blacks have made too many concessions to the transition to democracy and are not demanding enough responsibility.
However, everyone recognizes that Tutu never stopped condemning injustice: he attacked homophobia, challenged Mandela on ministers’ salaries, and strongly criticized Jacob Zuma’s presidency for corruption.
In 2013, he vowed never to vote for the ruling ANC, condemning state corruption, public school poverty and persistent poverty.
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