(South Africa – Agencies) – Desmond Tutu, one of the last icons in the struggle against apartheid and chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, who gave South Africa the nickname “Rainbow Nation,” died at the age of 90, he had prostate cancer.
Desmond Tutu, a symbol of South Africa’s anti-apartheid struggle and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died Sunday at the age of 90, sparking a wave of tributes to honor one of the last icons of this generation. “The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of mourning for our nation as we bid farewell to a generation of exceptional South Africans who bequeathed us a liberated country,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement.
Ramaphosa expressed “on behalf of all South Africans,” his “deep sadness following the death” of this essential figure in South African history, after the death in November of Frederik de Klerk, the country’s last white president.
“A man of extraordinary intelligence, 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 for the oppressed and oppressors around the world,” Ramaphosa recalled.
After the advent of democracy in 1994 and the election of his friend Nelson Mandela as president, Desmond Tutu, who gave South Africa the nickname “Rainbow Nation,” chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), created in the hope of turning the page on racial hatred.
The “Arch,” short for archbishop, was weakened by prostate cancer diagnosed in 1997 and no longer spoke in public but never forgot to wave to the cameras at his appearances. According to those in his inner circle, he died peacefully at 07:00 a.m. (05:00 GMT).
Rest in peace. Desmond Tutu, a great man and a prominent fighter for the collective good.
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