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South African anti-apartheid icon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is dead

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Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s retired Archbishop and anti-apartheid icon, has d*ed aged 90.

“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.

He “distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights”, Ramaphosa added. Tutu, who has struggled with ill health in recent years, is often hailed as South Africa’s moral conscience and the great reconciler of a nation divided by decades of racist politics.

A tireless activist, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for combatting white minority rule in his country. Famously outspoken, even after the fall of the racist apartheid regime, Tutu never shied away from confronting South Africa’s shortcomings or injustices.

It was Tutu who coined and popularised the term “Rainbow Nation” to describe South Africa when Nelson Mandela became the country’s first black president.

 

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