Desmond Mpilo Tutu
On 26 December 2021, one of #SouthAfrica’s most prominent anti-apartheid and #humanrights advocates passed away at the age of 90. Desmond Tutu, born in 1931, was the first black Anglican #Archbishop in #CapeTown and #Johannesburg. Serving this function for more than ten years, he fought against the #apartheid regime of racial #segregation. He advocated for peaceful reconciliation, for which he was awarded a #Nobel#Peace Prize. Tutu’s vision of South Africa was “a #democratic and just society without racial divisions,” including equal access to #education and an end of forced deportations.
After Nelson Mandela’s release from 27 years in prison and his subsequent victory in the 1994 presidential elections, Tutu was selected as the Truth & Reconciliation Commission chair, which dealt with human rights abuses and crimes committed under apartheid. To move forward, Tutu reiterated the importance of being accountable for the human rights infractions of the past. Archbishop Tutu wanted to remember the dehumanising effects of apartheid on both the oppressors and the oppressed, which was necessary for the cooperation of former members of the South African government and opposition fighters. Aiming at restoring justice in all aspects, Tutu mediated the reconciliation between Black and white. At the same time, he supported economic sanctions against #SouthAfrica. The use of the phrase “#rainbownation” to describe the new #democracy of South Africa has been coined by Tutu. Later on, he expressed his disappointment and criticism of the corrupt state of the government.
Apart from his lifelong activism in his own country, he was outspoken about other conflicts and human rights issues. #DesmondTutu, who by many was seen as one of South Africa’s most progressive thinkers, was a strong supporter of #LGBTQ and #womenrights. His support highlights that it’s not possible to advocate for the rights of one group of people while not recognising the struggles of others. Tutu was a defender of the #Palestinian cause while not denying Israel’s right to exist. He also opposed the #Iraq War.
We honour his work towards the betterment of humanity.