Archbishop Desmond Tutu was one of South Africa’s finest patriots and he carried the burden of leadership with dignity and humour.
These are some of the things President Cyril Ramaphosa said in his tribute to the late Nobel laureate.
Tutu died on Sunday at the age of 90 in Cape Town.
“In this season of cheer and goodwill, at a time when many people are celebrating with family and friends, we have lost one of the most illustrious, courageous and beloved amongst us,” President Ramaphosa said.
“We’ve lost one of the most illustrious, courageous and beloved among us,” Ramaphosa said.
The president said Tutu was one of our nation’s finest patriots.
“In his ministry, in his struggle against apartheid and as chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission he saw the depths to which human beings could descend in the subjugation and oppression of others and yet his faith in humanity and in people, like his faith in God, was unwavering,” Ramaphosa said.
“He was a man of unwavering courage, of principled conviction, and whose life was spent in the service of others. He embodied the essence of our humanity.
“We have lost a person who carried the burden of leadership with compassion, with dignity, with humility and with such good humour.
“We are comforted in the knowledge that he has left an indelible mark in the lives of the millions of people who had the privilege and honour of knowing him.”
Ramaphosa said there will be a period of mourning during which the national flag will fly at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad.