Tributes are pouring in for South African human rights activist and anti-apartheid hero archbishop Desmond Tutu, who died Sunday at the age of 90.
Tutu, born on October 7 1931, was an Anglican bishop and was the first black Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986 as well as the first black Archbishop of Cape Town, serving from 1986 to 1996.
President Lazarus Chakwera has described the death of Archbishop Tutu as a loss to the whole world.
In a statement, Chakwera, who is also Southern African Development Community Chairperson, said Tutu was a global icon.
“I will remember Archbishop Tutu as an outstanding global icon who utilised the power of deliberate honest and constructive dialogue to facilitate lasting peace among people of different races and creeds,” the statement reads.
Former president Joyce Banda described the late Tutu as a distinguished son of Africa and the world at large.
“Today, the 26th of December 2021, South Africa, the continent and the world have lost a distinguished son, a man of God and a gallant fighter for human rights,” Banda said on her official Facebook page.
She recollected the time she had a meeting with Tutu, in September 2014, in the United States (US), where she was invited to speak at the Starky Foundation on disability matters alongside Tutu and US former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.
“He was a man gifted with great wisdom. I will never forget how a single meeting over lunch impacted me forever,” she said.
Tutu was one of the country’s best-known figures at home and abroad in the league of the late Nelson Mandela, who fought against apartheid in the Rainbow Nation.
Tutu was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.
He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system.