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Tributes: Desmond Tutu, A Man Of Words And Action

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The head of state has paid tribute to Desmond Tutu, an icon of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa, whose death was announced on Sunday. The Mandela Foundation described his loss as “immeasurable”: “He was larger than life […] He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd.

The “fight” of Desmond Tutu “for the end of apartheid and South African reconciliation will remain in our memories,” said French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday, after the announcement of the death of the icon of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. Archbishop Desmond Tutu “devoted his life to human rights and the equality of peoples,” said the head of state in a tweet, joining the international chorus of tributes to the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town.

President Cyril Ramaphosa expressed his “deep sadness at the death” of this “peerless patriot”. His death “is another chapter of mourning in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who left us a liberated South Africa. Cyril Ramaphosa salutes “a man of extraordinary intelligence, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid,” who “was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered…under apartheid, and for the oppressed and oppressors around the world.”

“A meaningful life”

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Twitter that he was “deeply saddened to learn of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.” “He was a key figure in the fight against apartheid and the struggle to create a new South Africa. He will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and his irrepressible good humor,” he added.

The Queen has paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a tireless champion of human rights following his death aged 90.

Tutu, who helped end apartheid in South Africa, died in Cape Town on Boxing Day.

In a message of condolence, the Queen said the whole royal family were “deeply saddened” by the news.

Desmond Tutu - Queen Elizabeth

The message said: “I am joined by the whole Royal Family in being deeply saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who tirelessly championed human rights in South Africa and across the world.

“I remember with fondness my meetings with him and his great warmth and humour. Archbishop Tutu’s loss will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many people in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth, where he was held in such high affection and esteem.”

Barack Obama - Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu “was a friend, a mentor and a moral beacon for me and for so many others,” former U.S. President Barack Obama also reacted on Sunday. “A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu found his roots in the struggle for freedom and justice in his own country, but was also concerned about injustice wherever it was found,” wrote Barack Obama, another Nobel Peace Prize winner, on Twitter.

For his part, Pope Francis said he was “saddened” by the loss. “Aware of his service to the Gospel in promoting racial equality and reconciliation” in his country, the pontiff “commends his soul to the loving mercy of Almighty God.

dalai lama - desmond tutu

Anglican spiritual leader and Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said, “In Desmond Tutu’s eyes we saw the love of Jesus. In his voice, we heard the compassion of Jesus. In his laughter, we heard the joy of Jesus. It was beautiful and courageous. His greatest love is now realized as he meets his Lord face to face.” The Dalai Lama, meanwhile, hailed a “great man, who lived a meaningful life,” “totally dedicated to the service of his brothers and sisters.” “The friendship and spiritual bond between us was something we cherished,” he said of his old friend.

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