South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that although the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s has left this world, his “life was one well lived” which all South Africans “must try to emulate and celebrate.”
Ramaphosa was speaking to reporters after visiting Tutu’s home following the archbishop’s passing at the age of 90 on Sunday in Cape Town.
He confirmed that Tutu would be buried “in a class one funeral with religious characteristics".
“We are enormously diminished by his passing but, at the same time, we are filled with a celebratory moment,” Ramaphosa said.
He added: “This is a life where the Archbishop led millions of our people in the struggle against apartheid and when apartheid was defeated, and where he also led the process of reconciliation.”
Ramaphosa recalled how Tutu was concerned about some of the errors of the governing African National Congress party and he spoke out about it.
“He was brave, forthright and we loved him just for that because he was a voice of the voiceless,” he said.
“He was the one person who campaigned for justice, for people living with HIV, for the LGBTQI+ community and for the dejected and oppressed people – not only in our country – but everywhere.”
Ramaphosa said the outpouring of condolences for the Tutu family from across the globe was a testament to the calibre of leader he was.