Desmond Tutu, the Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa, who became a leading force in ending the country’s racist apartheid system in the 1990s, died Sunday at the age of 90.
His death was confirmed by the Office of the President of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, who praised Tutu as “a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical perception that faith without works is dead. “
Tutu, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984, became one of the most prominent critics of South Africa’s policy of segregation and racial discrimination overseen by a white minority government against the country’s black majority from 1948 to 1991.
He became a staunch advocate of economic sanctions against the country to force radical changes that eventually came under FW De Klerk, the country’s last apartheid-era leader who shared a 1993 Nobel Peace Prize with Nelson Mandela and who He died last month at the age of 85.
After Mandela’s election in 1994 as South Africa’s first black president, Tutu appointed a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to investigate crimes during the apartheid era and became one of the leading advocates for a peaceful struggle with the country’s history of racism and discrimination.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation he praised Tutu as an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A pastor “and noted that his” contributions to the struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are only matched by the depth of his thinking about building future liberators for human societies. “
A charismatic figure known for his effervescent personality and soulful preaching style, Tutu became a global celebrity who had a moral authority. His efforts at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission are credited with averting major violence as South Africa shifted to black rule, and also became a vocal critic of corruption and mismanagement by leaders. post-Mandela of the dominant party of the African National Congress.