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    Statement around the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

    Kaya 959 mourns the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Considered to be one the most iconic South Africans of the past century, Tutu passed away on 26 December 2021, aged 90.
    “Desmond Tutu strove for the ideals that shaped our nation, that gave us freedom of speech and gave us dignity. One of my favourite quotes from Desmond Tutu is: If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. His passing casts a long shadow and he will never be forgotten. Hamba Kahle,” says Kaya 959 station director Sibongile Mtyali.

    Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his anti-apartheid work. He was the Bishop of Johannesburg from 1985 to 1986, and was then appointed as the Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986 to 1996 – in both cases he was the first Black person to fill those roles.

    In 1994 Nelson Mandela asked Tutu to head up SA’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Years later in 2007 Tutu became a founding member of The Elders alongside Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter and many other world leaders and changemakers.

    Desmond Tutu was also well-known for coining the phrase “The Rainbow Nation”.

    President Cyril Ramaphosa said today: "The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation's farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa."


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