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Tributes paid to Archbishop Desmond Tutu following death

Tributes have been paid to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu following his death aged 90.

Tutu, who helped end apartheid in South Africa, died in Cape Town on Boxing Day.

Piyushi Kotecha, chief executive of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and chairman Niclas Kjellstrom-Matseke said in a statement that Tutu was “a living embodiment of faith in action”.In a statement on the foundation’s website, they added he spoke “boldly against racism, injustice, corruption and oppression, not just in apartheid South Africa but wherever in the world he saw wrongdoing, especially when it impacted the most vulnerable and voiceless in society.” 

According to the trust, he died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town. A cause of death has not been given.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa”.“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead,” he tweeted. 

“We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation.”

Desmond Tutu death
Desmond Tutu, with his wife Leah at Heathrow Airport (PA)

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described Tutu as “a man of words and action”.

He tweeted: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a prophet and priest, a man of words and action – one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life. Even in our profound sorrow we give thanks for a life so well lived. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell described him as a “giant”, adding that “the world itself feels a little smaller without him”.

“His expansive vision of how the Christian faith shapes the whole of life has touched many hearts and changed many lives,” he said in a statement.

“The Anglican church in particular gives thanks for one of its greatest saints. But Christian people everywhere, and all people of goodwill, will today be mourning the loss of someone who showed the world what following Jesus looks like and where it leads.”

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