The University of Cape Town community mourns the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who left us on the morning of Sunday, 26 December 2021.
The first black priest to be head of the Anglican Church of the Province of Southern Africa, Tutu campaigned extensively on matters of social conscience and global concern, including HIV/Aids, poverty, climate change and corruption. Regarded by Nelson Mandela as “the voice of the voiceless”, Tutu was considered by many to be “South Africa’s moral conscience”.
Credited with coining the term “rainbow nation”, he persistently presented the country with an optimistic vision of itself as “a scintillating success waiting to happen”, as he put it in his 2006 Steve Biko Memorial Lecture at the University of Cape Town (UCT).
Having been awarded a degree of Doctor of Laws (honoris causa) in 1993, Tutu had a long history with UCT. A frequent visitor to university’s campuses as a speaker, lecturer and panellist, he contributed to and promoted many campus initiatives, particularly those driven by students.
Winner of the Templeton Prize in 2013, which is awarded annually to “a living person who has made exceptional contributions to affirming life’s spiritual dimension”, the Arch will be missed by all those whose lives he touched in so many ways.
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On Sunday, 26 December 2021, the University of Cape Town learned of the passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, 90. We say goodbye to a man who taught us the power of joy to fight injustice and evil.
“Archbishop Emeritus Tutu, as he graciously aged, never lost his vision for a just and free South Africa.”
– Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane
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