Johannesburg, Dec 26 (EFE).- Desmond Tutu, a retired Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize laureate for his unwavering fight against racial equality, died on Sunday at the age of 90, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said.
Archbishop Tutu breathed his last in Cape Town.
“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,” Ramaphosa tweeted.
The president described Tutu as “a patriot without equal…who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.”
“We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation,” Ramaphosa said in his condolence message.
Tutu remained an active voice in South African civil society and a prominent government critic despite the infirmities of age that forced him in hospitals in recent years.
He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his open denunciation of the segregationist apartheid regime from the pulpit.
Tutu began his career as a teacher in 1955 but gave up the job two years later.
He attended St. Peter’s Theological College in Johannesburg and was ordained an Anglican priest in 1961.
In 1962, he moved to King’s College London for his MA.
From 1972 to 1975, he served as an associate director for the World Council of Churches. He was appointed dean of St. Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg in 1975, the first Black South African to hold that position.
Tutu was appointed as the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches in 1978, after which he became a leading spokesperson for the rights of Black South Africans.
He played an unrivaled role in drawing national and international attention to the iniquities of apartheid in the 1980s, emphasizing nonviolent means of protest that won him Nobel peace in 1984.
In 1985, Tutu was installed as Johannesburg’s first Black Anglican bishop, and in 1986 he was elected the first Black Archbishop of Cape Town, thus becoming the high priest of South Africa’s 1.6 million-member Anglican church.
The then-South African President Nelson Mandela appointed Tutu head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995 to investigate allegations of human rights abuses during the apartheid era.
He did not spare the black political elite after the end of the apartheid and fought for a fairer South Africa with the same energy and courage as in his fight against the tyranny of the white minority. EFE