South Africa’s president, President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the South African anti-apartheid icon, who died on Sunday at the aged 90.
“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,” the president said in a statement.
Desmond Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for combating white minority rule in his country.
The first black Archbishop of Cape Town and bishop of the Church of the Province of Southern Africa (now the Anglican Church of Southern Africa), Tutu received many international accolades during his long and illustrious life, including the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984; the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1986; the Pacem in Terris Award in 1987; the Sydney Peace Prize in 1999; the Gandhi Peace Prize in 2007; and the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009.
Initially trained as a teacher after leaving school, he began studying theology after having taught at a high school for three years and was ordained as a priest in 1960. He continued his studies in England, culminating in a Master of Theology degree in 1966.
In 1975 he was appointed Dean of St Mary’s Cathedral in Johannesburg, the first black person to hold that position. From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978 became the first black general secretary of the South African Council of Churches