President Cyril Ramaphosa has hailed Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as a rare soul who enriched the lives of those he touched and fought for.
Ramaphosa was delivering the eulogy at the elderly clergyman and global icon’s funeral held at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Saturday.
The world renowned humanitarian and social justice champion passed away at the age of 90 on 26 December in Cape Town following an illness.
Famous for his modesty, Tutu gave instructions for a simple, no-frills ceremony, with a cheap coffin, donations for charity instead of floral tributes, followed by an eco-friendly cremation.
Ramaphosa said throughout his life, Tutu became known not just as a clergyman but also as a human rights campaigner, who bravely took on the racist apartheid government.
“He was a man with a faith as deep as it was abiding. For him, opposing injustice, standing up for the oppressed, defying unjust laws, was God’s work. Our departed father was a crusader in the struggle for freedom, for justice, for equality and for peace, not just in South Africa, the country of his birth, but around the world as well.”
Tutu was cremated and his remains interred at the St George’s Cathedral.