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Archbishop Desmond Tutu

Desmond Tutu - RIP

On 26th December 2021 the death was announced from Cape Town of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu.  The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation published the following statement:

South Africa and the world have lost one of the great spirits and moral giants of our age.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu passed away on the morning of 26 December 2021 in Cape Town at the age of 90.

Tutu was a living embodiment of faith in action, speaking boldly against racism, injustice, corruption, and oppression, not just in apartheid South Africa but wherever in the world he saw wrongdoing, especially when it impacted the most vulnerable and voiceless in society.

While Tutu was first and always an Anglican priest who made no secret of his deep dependence on the inner life of disciplined prayer, his faith burst the confines of denomination and religion, joyfully embracing all who shared his passion for justice and love. People of all faiths and no faith together christened him fondly as simply ‘The Arch.’

With political leaders in prison and exile, Tutu, as General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches and later Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, became the nation’s most outspoken prophet for justice. In spite of consistent smears and vicious intimidation by the apartheid regime, he refused to be cowed. Whether from the pulpit or in the streets, on trial or confronting cabinet ministers in the Union Buildings, he spoke with a fierce moral and spiritual authority that faced down his adversaries and slowly won their grudging respect.

With the freeing of Nelson Mandela and other leaders, the unbanning of political movements, the return of the exiles, South Africa’s first non-racial democratic elections, to move the country towards healing, President Mandela asked Tutu to guide the delicate but often controversial work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Presiding over months of agonising testimony and horrifying revelations, he became ‘chief pastor’ to South Africa’s painful transition and many who had dismissed him as a ‘rabble-rouser’ were moved by his deeply compassionate response to apartheid’s victims and even those of their torturers who showed remorse.

While Tutu helped shepherd the democratic dispensation into being, he was unafraid of reminding the new governing party of both its moral responsibilities toward all South Africans and its growing failings. He was realistic about the weaknesses of politicians but expressed both sadness and anger as corruption took hold in the ANC.

The wider world showered him with honours, most notably the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, and after retirement his primary international responsibility was with a group of fellow Nobel Peace Laureates and statespersons known as ‘The Elders,’ committed to international problem-solving and peace-making.

Officially "retiring" from public life on his 79th birthday, Tutu continued to speak out on a range of ethical and moral issues: illegal arms deals, xenophobia, oppressed people in Palestine, respect for the rule of law, HIV/Aids, Tibet, China, Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and LGBTQI+ rights. He also vociferously campaigned for gentler stewardship of the Earth, and against the coming ravages of climate change, a very real example of how human survival rests on our ubuntu-spirited ability to cooperate and work together.

Tutu spent the closing years of his life increasingly devoted to prayer and contemplation, in the Milnerton home he and his wife shared.

We, at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, mourn his passing and extend deep sympathy to Mrs Nomalizo Leah Tutu, siblings Trevor Thamsanqa Tutu, Naomi Nontombi Tutu, Theresa Thandeka Tutu, Mpho Tutu van Furth and their families. We commit ourselves to continue telling the story and emulating the example of this son of Africa who became an inspiring sign of peace, hope and justice across the world.

Niclas Kjellström-Matseke, Chairperson

Piyushi Kotecah,CEO. 

Desmond Tutu - at the United Nations
Desmond Tutu at the United Nations

Hundreds of tributes are being received at the Foundation's website.  Below are the first ones which arrived .....

Romaney Pinnock


Thank you for being a pillar of joy and a symbol of doing what is right and just! We owe you so much.


Jennifer Jullies


Rest in Peace Arch, I considered you a true gentleman. You'll be missed by so many.


Charlotte and Allan Weppenaar Pedersen, Denmark and South Africa


Dear Arch, may you rest in Peace and rise in Glory. Thank you so much for all the times we spent together with you and family and our group. You will stay in our hearts forever.


Kim Hope


Hamba Kahle, most dear, most loved, most respected Desmond Tutu. I first met you at the TRC in Joburg, with the beautiful Sister Maureen, who was your spiritual advisor. You were weeping for the people so damaged by apartheid. You were such an inspiration and so generous with your time and your name. You were a Patron of The Themba HIV and AIDS Organisation, and helped us so much. Thank you, thank you for all you did for us and for all of South Africa - and for the world.


Wilma Jakobsen


Beloved Arch, global giant of justice, faith, joy, we miss you and we have to let you go. I am sure heaven has a huge party to welcome come you home. You leave a huge hole in the universe, help us to fill it and walk a tiny bit in your shoes, to make our world a better place. Thank you for being you, for being yourself, for sharing yourself with us and to the world. We will always love you. It was an enormous privilege to be ordained deacon and priest by you, to serve as your chaplain, and to care for you and Mam' Leah in Hermanus during the first seven months of Covid-19. I will drink hot chocolate and eat rum and raisin icecream and chocolate in your honour. Deepest condolences to beloved Mam' Leah, Trevor, Thandi, Nontombi and Mpho, and all your family and extended family.


Rowena Koert


What a sad day for me, for us as South Africans. Desmond Tutu u will be remembered for your love for the Lord, your empathy, your laughter, for speaking the truth, for loving people & for spreading love throughout the world, your parents brought a miracle into this world the day u were born. Your love for children touched my soul long time ago, to your family, i feel this with you & i know his legacy will live on in your & our hearts. U sitting around the table with the angels today & God is celebrating bcos your work on earth is done. His son has returned home.


Peter King, London


I was privileged, as one of the founding trustees of the Tutu Foundation UK, to meet Arch on several occasions and to enjoy his sense of humour as well as his insights. He is and remains one of my heroes.


Ruth Daniels


We have lost an amazing man of God, a leader, a person that was not afraid to fight for those who didn't have a voice, a humble and compassionate person.... You are going to be missed Archbishop Desmond but God knows best and you've run the race well. Surely you were welcomed into His kingdom with a host of angelic voices. Rest sweetly now in the precious arms of Jesus.


The Grand Prior of the Knights Templar of All Britain


We "Knights Templar of All Britain" salute Archbishop Tutu as he passes Home to Glory to meet mutual our Saviour Jesus Christ.  May his example of humble and courageous leadership in the struggle for peace and justice inspire many others to continue the fight. Thank you Brother - a true Knight of Christ.


Calvyn Protestant Church


The Calvin Protestant Church of South Africa wishes to express its heartfelt condolences to the family of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu (1931-2021) on his passing on Sunday 26 December 2021. We mourn with his wife, Mam' Leah Tutu, their children, together with the Church of the Province of Southern Africa and the worldwide Anglican Community. Archbishop Tutu played a pivotal role in the fight against apartheid and other forms of injustices. His many lists of accomplishments includes being the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches, the first Black Archbishop of Cape Town, recipient of the Noble Peace Prize, and the chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. He fulfilled these roles with courage and wisdom and with his initimable sense of humor. His was a strong moral voice who continued to shine a spotlight on injustices. We wish the family and the current Archbishop of Cape Town, the Most Reverend Thabo Magkoba, well over the next few days as they begin the preparations of laying to rest this beloveth son of the soil. May God comfort all of us who mourn. May the soul of Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu rest in peace and rise in glory. Issued on behalf of the Moderature of the CPC of SA, Ds. Darrell Mackriel, Scriba Synodi.


Marc Reusch


Thank you God for Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu, for his life and his legacy. He is now where he believed to be at the end of this life: Sheltered in our Lords hand and in his eternal love.


Elvis Hobyana


Tata Arch Bishop Tutu, you were a true servant of the masses of this country and above all, a flamboyant and dedicated servant of God. The role that you have played in helping to defeat apartheid and bringing in the rainbow nation shall ever be cherished including your fearlessness in terms of condemning and speaking against the wrong way of doing things. May your soul rest in eternal peace.


Phillip Woodward


I was fortunate to meet him twice he was being harassed by the press back stage at a concert in london where I cycled with 26 cyclist from lands end to London. I joined the ride in Swindon. I was pushing through the crowd backstage to get a drink and there was a huge group of people and as I pushed through I came face to face with him. To cut to the point he shock my hand and raised it and kissed it and said bless you my son as I had inadvertently made a space for him through the press. I was appalled as I heard one of the press people say we are only here for him (not the cause) but he showed how he commanded and lead the cause. I hope he and Mandela have many happy memories that they can now discuss together. Rest in peace brother.


Dr R Ismail


Very very heart sore tinged with painful nostalgia on the passing of our Father of our Nation. Words are not enough to express our loss to South Africa and the world in general . I so clearly remember the pivotal role he played together with Madiba in the Chris Hani Saga in averting a Civil War. He is and always will be our National Heritage that will remain priceless for posterity. We salute him for the Services he rendered to our country and the world, and pray that God gives his Family, Friends, and all well wishers the strength and wisdom to bear this huge loss with grace and equanimity. Rest in eternal peace, Archbishop.


Pierre du Preez


Thank you Arch, fearless champion of the marginalised, the oppressed and the the forgotten, whose humanity, optimism and humour made us believe that it need not be so. Your message that each individual has infinite worth and limitless potential is simple, powerful and enduring.


Ann Bown and family


Your light will shine eternally…as long as we have the courage to speak out and speak up, like you, when injustice, violence, corruption and dishonesty occurs before us. Rest Now Rest! 💜 Condolences to Mamma Leah and all the family.


Greet Dierckx


Thank you for your wisdom, cheerfulness and perseverance. You will be missed.


John Tymitz


DIXIE and I send deepest sympathy to all but especially to Mama LEAH. We will cherish our many times with dear Father and dear dear LEAH. Warm warm wishes and LOTS OF LOVE DIXIE AND JOHN TYMITZ.


Brian James Casey, Sweden, eSwatini, Ireland


Suaimhneas síoraí dá anam uasal. Amen.  Irish language for "Eternal peace to his noble soul." Thank you, Arch, for your deep wisdom, great courage and riotous laughter. Amen.


Frank Barat


Meeting the Arch in 2010 for the Russell Tribunal on Palestine and getting to spend a little bit of time with him will remain forever one of the highlights of my life. Loving, compassionate, with a fabulous sense of humour. His opening speech of the Cape Town session of the Russell Tribunal encapsulated best the man he was. He will be sorely missed, but his legacy and love for humanity will carry on forever. Rest in Power Arch!


Eddie Makue


We celebrate life as we remember the fearless struggle waged by our Spiritual Father. Our Arch always listened attentively and prayed with and for us- the youth of the seventies. Mum Leah was consistently at his side and together they showed us how to practise love and compassion, especially for people who suffered. It’s our privilege to thank God for the life and witness of a Servant Leader! The Arch’s ministry in the SACC and entire religious community will forever encourage us to search for true peace with justice!


Jana Grobbelaar


My condolences to Leah and the family of our beloved Arch. May you find God's loving hand in yours during this time of grief.


Jane Silva, UK


Arch - I am truly grateful for your life. Your love, humanity, grace, and unending service to our country and her people were an example to all. Your humour, your smile, your laugh, your humility - we loved you and will continue to love and remember you. Thank you. Rest in peace.


Ilona Khmeleva, Ukraine


RIP Archbishop Desmond Tutu … Thank you for being a true spiritual and moral leader. Your struggle against any discrimination has changed our world and has made it a more kind and joyful place. Thank you for inspiring younger generation; we will continue your legacy! I will always do my best to protect human rights and equality.




Rest in peace you deserve it!!


Seth Naicker


Today we say farewell to Bishop Tutu- our beloved friend, brother and servant of God- our rabble rouser for justice! Our beloved pastor Gerrie Lubbe maintained a journey of brotherhood, friendship and mentorship through out his service and ministry with Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu. Niths Palani our elder at VCC has shared, "Pastor Lubbe will welcome his brother in Christ, home, standing with arms, outstretched, ready to warmly embrace his beloved friend. 🙏🏼🤗". Bishop Tutu's life and example has inspired many, and now after his passing, we must continue with fierce urgency the work of justice, reconciliation and the pursuit of beloved community. In 2017 and 2018, it was an honor for Merrishia and I, to serve with Rev. Edwin Leslie Arrison and Waseema Ali on the Desmond Youth Fellowship Program, where emerging leaders were afforded the opportunity to draw from life of Bishop Tutu and his example in going about their service and future goals. Today Merrishia and I are honored to serve with our leadership and community at Via Christi Community- our faith community committed to the work and ministry of acting justly, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. On behalf of Via Christi Community Church, our leadership and faith community, we share our sincere condolences to our dear Mother Leah, the children, dear family and friends, and fellow disciples of rabble rousing for justice. To our dear sister Nontombi Tutu we remember you and your family in our prayers. As Lubbe journeyed with Tutu in friendship that propelled them toward the work of mercy, justice and peace, may we also form friendships that cross the divides of our here and now and pursue the ministry of reconciliation and beloved community. Farewell Bishop Tutu. Rest in Peace and Rise in Glory! Seth Naicker.


Johann Malan


My heart aches today at the passing of a spiritual father, a mentor and dear friend! Our world is poorer without him, but now it’s up to us to step up and fill the void. I remember once, complaining to him about all the bad things happening in the world, he replied that I should approach it differently and use the daily news as my to-do list for the day. Our to-do list has just become bigger, because he’s not here anymore! Going through our emails over the years, “Boetie” is going to miss “Oom Des” very much. We thank God for his life and know that there will be a lot of jigging and laughing in Heaven!


Cathy Haig, St. George’s Anglican Church, Diocese of Kootenay, Kelowna, BC, Canada


I am so sorry to hear of the passing or Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Grant him rest eternal and May light perpetual shine upon him. He was/is a truly holy man who is a disciple of Jesus in our day. He modeled Justice, ecology, love and care and peace among all people. The world has lost perhaps the greatest Anglican priest and Archbishop of our time. Blessings be to his family.


Marah Louw


A Baobab tree has fallen. I'm sad but also humbled that he taught me to be humble but to never hold back in expressing myself. I have fond memories of him when I was performing at different events, he never hesitated to join me on stage and dance but most of all I am humbled by his unwavering support. His legacy will live on and on. May his soul rest in eternal peace and rise in glory.


Letebele. Mosala


From: Letebele Mosala: Tribute to the Archbishop Emeritus Mpilo Desmond Tutu: A man of God passed on on Sunday over the Christmas weekend. A true believer and anointed leader who fought fearlessly against the unjust system of apartheid and endured the suffering of detention and humiliation with his own people. We thank God for his life and thank him for his role in the liberation of Azania. Our sincerest condolences to Mama Leah and children. May the Lord comfort them and give them strength during this time of bereavement. May the man of God’s soul rest in eternal peace and rise in glory.


Tshepiso Matlhola


Robala ka Kgotso Archbishop Tutu. May all the angels and arch angels welcome you.. To the Tutu familly, may God be with you through the difficult time.


2 Oceans Education Foundation


2 Oceans Education Foundation hereby wish to express its deepest condolences to Mrs Nomalizo Leah Tutu, the Tutu family, the board and staff of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation and all International Human Rights organisations on the passing of our Honourable Patron of the 2 Oceans Education Foundation. It is indeed a day of bereavement in the lives of all South Africans, however, the example set by the Honourable Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu should be practiced when dealing with human beings by upholding their dignity and respect at all times, despite their social statuses and titles. Rest Well Emeritus Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu. Chairperson: Dr. Ali Adam Director: Ashra Norton.


Alasdair Beaton


On behalf of Link Education International, previously known as Link Community Development International, we send our heartfelt condolences to Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s family. Archbishop Tutu has been the patron of Link for well over 30 years. Our organisation to support education and community development in South Africa, now includes our work in Malawi, Uganda and Ethiopia. Archbishop Tutu will be very sadly missed for his example and dedication to the development and education of children in all of Africa. A light has gone out over the continent but his memory will continue to inspire us all.

Inga Sbulele Mfundisi


We have lost a GIANT in South African history and beyond . A true epitome of power and change . We thank you Tata for your fighting spirit in reconciling our people and we will forever carry your remember an ICON , servant of God, Arch . Tata siyabulela . Lala ngoxolo . You have touched many lives and will be dearly missed for all that you were . Lala ngoku Tata . You have served .


Aperr Immanuel Naadzenga for: TIMOTHY NAADZENGA ANGER (TNA) Legacy Foundation.


Africa has lost one of the Continent's finest, courageous and strongest leaders of all time. Today, we celebrate rather than mourn our hero, mentor and trailblazer at 90! Much of Tutu's legacies are not in doubt and his likes, dotted across the Continent (and indeed beyond), whose heroic songs went unsung. To them, including my late father Rev. Timothy Naadzenga Anger, JP; and a host of many others, who resisted oppression, stood up for the least likely, leading them to do the most mighty for the propagation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I join Tutu's well wishers to say you made your mark and effected positive changes in your 'little' way. The onus today lies on us to collaborate, unite our efforts and continue to make the world a just, equitable and sustainable habitation for all in the steps of Jesus Christ- whose message the world needs TODAY, and to the end of time!"


Christina von Wackerbarth


The honor of having met you more than once, is still shining in my heart. The gift you gave to South Africa, to all humanity still lingers on and will be carried forward by so many. May you rest in peace, and may we be worth of the heritage you left us.


Tari Marshall-Day


May the legacy of this unique leader, role model and person of passion for humanity keep leading us in difficult times and be celebrated in the best of times. Tari Marshall-Day Rotary District Governor Elect - D-7980 Southern Connecticut, USA.


Sr. Patricia CHN- Diocese of Zululand


To Tutu Family Your lost is that of the world. Arch was indescribable because of all that bestowed upon him and he fulfill what he was sent to do. His love and smile will always be in our hearts. He loved and supported Religious Life communities. Every year, we received flowers and a basket of goodies from him and mama Leah. We received profession cards of remembrance to remind us of our commitment and vows. May his soul rest in peace.

Desmond Tutu - Bishop  Pastor
Desmond Tutu : Bishop & Pastor

See The Desmond & Leah Legacy Foundation website for many, more tributes to the great man.



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