South Africa Prepares For Tutu’s Farewell In A Simple Requiem For A Titan.
South Africa will say goodbye to Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the country’s last major anti-apartheid hero, at a funeral that will be devoid of pomp but full of tears and smiles on Saturday.
Tutu died on Sunday at the age of 90, eliciting outpourings of grief from South Africans and condolences from world leaders for a life dedicated to battling injustice.
Tutu, who was known for his modesty, requested a basic, no-frills funeral, with a low-cost casket, charitable donations instead of floral tributes, and an eco-friendly cremation.
The requiem mass will begin at 10 a.m. (0800 GMT) at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, where Tutu preached for years against a cruel white minority dictatorship.
President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the eulogy, after which he will present Tutu’s widow, Leah, with South Africa’s multicolored flag, a remembrance of her husband’s designation of the post-apartheid country as the “Rainbow Nation.”
South Africa has been in mourning for a week, culminating in two days of state funerals.
Thousands of people, some of whom had traveled from across the country, filed past a little pine rope-handled casket with a single bouquet of flowers.
Close friends and relatives, clergy, and a few guests are anticipated to attend, including former Irish president Mary Robinson, who will read a prayer, and King Letsie III of South Africa’s neighboring Lesotho.
The sermon will be delivered by Tutu’s lifelong friend, retired bishop Michael Nuttall, who served as Anglican Church dean when Tutu was archbishop of Cape Town.
The two developed a solid bond, demonstrating to many how a white leader can collaborate with a black leader. Nuttall went on to publish a memoir on their friendship called “Tutu’s Number Two.”
“They were inseparably linked. Having a black man and a white man in a collaborative loving goal in association, especially in the 1980s, was a noteworthy witness in and of itself “Michael Weeder, the cathedral’s current dean, expressed his thoughts.
South Africa’s white minority consolidated its power under apartheid through a slew of laws based on race and racial segregation, while the police mercilessly tracked down opponents, killing or imprisoning them.
Tutu became the symbol of the battle in the 1970s, when Nelson Mandela and other leaders were condemned to decades in prison.
The purple-robed figure campaigned tirelessly around the world, publicly chastising the US, the UK, Germany, and other countries for failing to impose sanctions on the apartheid system.
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