Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s anti – apartheid leader, has died in his 90s.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Who helped lead the movement to the end The brutal rule of the white minority in South AfricaThe country’s president confirmed Sunday that he had died at the age of 90.

The death of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another milestone in our nation’s farewell to the generation of great South Africans who brought us a liberated South Africa, “said President Cyril Ramaphosa. Said in a statement Sunday morning.

“Desmond Tutu is an unequal patriot; The leader of policy and pragmatism who gave meaning to biblical insight that faith without works is dead. “

Considered the nation’s moral guide, Tutu coined the phrase “rainbow nation” to describe South Africa’s diverse community.Trevor Samson / AFP – Getty Images

Tutu gained prominence by working as a human rights campaigner. In 1984, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his tireless and non-violent struggle against apartheid in South Africa, and later played a key role in the fall of separatist policy.

Tutu was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and has been hospitalized several times in recent years to treat infections associated with his treatment.

“Finally, at the age of 90, he died peacefully this morning at the Oasis Fry Care Center in Cape Town,” Dr. Rambela Mamble said in a statement on behalf of the family.

He did not give details of the cause of death.

Tutu, an Anglican clergyman, used his sermon to preach against the injustices faced by the majority of blacks in South Africa and to strengthen public opinion.

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Tutu, the first black bishop of Johannesburg and later the first black archbishop of Cape Town, was a voice not only in South Africa but around the world for racial justice and LGBTQ rights.

In 1990, after 27 years in prison, Nelson Mandela spent his first night at Tutu’s home in Cape Town, Independence.

After the fall of the apartheid regime, when Mandela led the country to its first black president, Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which exposed the horrific realities of white rule.

“His contributions to the struggle against injustice, both locally and globally, are in line with the depth of his thinking on creating a liberating future for human communities,” the Nelson Mandela Foundation said in a statement.

Mandela asked Tutu to chair a commission set up to pardon, register and, in some cases, grant amnesty to those involved in human rights abuses under apartheid.Walter Dlatla / AFP / Getty Images

Tributes were heaped from all over the world.

U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement Sunday that Tutu’s legacy transcends boundaries and “echoes throughout the ages.”

“We have been blessed to spend time with him on so many occasions over the last several years,” Biden said on behalf of himself and his wife, Jill. “His courage and moral clarity helped to encourage our commitment to change US policy toward a repressive apartheid regime in South Africa.”

When Biden left the country as a senator in 1976, he spoke openly about racism, which he said he refused to separate from his black colleagues. A clip He argued against racism The Senate hearing in 1986 resurfaced during this 2020 presidential campaign.

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In a statement, former President Barack Obama said, “Tutu has been a guide, friend, and moral guide for many of me.

“He never lost his sense of humor and desire to find humanity in his adversaries, and Michelle and I miss him so much,” Obama said.

Former President Bill Clinton said in a statement on Sunday that “Tutu has an unshakable faith in the inherent dignity of all people.” He said Tutu’s life was a “gift”.

“His own heart was sufficient to seek reconciliation, not to seek revenge, but to reject demonism and embrace his strange ability to express the best in others,” Clinton said. “Those of us who have touched the gift of his life owe it to him to overcome it.”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was “deeply saddened” by Tutu’s death and would “be remembered for his spiritual leadership.”

Queen Elizabeth II “fondly” recalled her encounters with Tutu, noting his warmth and humor.

The loss of Archbishop Tutu will be felt by the people of South Africa and many in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and the Commonwealth, where he was treated with the utmost affection and respect, “said the Queen.

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, said, “The friendship and spiritual bond between us is something we cherish.” Tutu is a “true humanitarian and a dedicated advocate of human rights,” he added.

Outspoken and enthusiastic, Tutu never faltered in his struggle for a just South Africa, and continued to call into account the black leaders of the country’s new democracy.

In his final years, he regretted that his dream of a “rainbow nation” had not yet come true.

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Tutu retired largely from public life in 2010, but did not stop speaking his mind with intelligence and determination.

He lives with his wife Leah, 66, and their four children.

It has been more than a month since he died FW de Klerk, the country’s last racist president.

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