South Africa’s spiritual father Archbishop Desmond Tutu, hero of the anti-apartheid struggle, was laid to rest at dawn on Sunday in the Cape Town cathedral where he once preached against the brutal white-minority regime.
According to the Anglican Church,his ashes were interred at St. George’s Cathedral in a private family service early today.
Family, friends, clergy and politicians had attended a requiem mass on Saturday with President Cyril Ramaphosa leading the tributes.
“Our departed father was a crusader in the struggle for freedom, for justice, for equality and for peace, not just in South Africa… but around the world as well,” said Ramaphosa.
“While our beloved (Nelson Mandela) was the father of our democracy, Archbishop Tutu was the spiritual father of our new nation”, lauding him as “our moral compass and national conscience”.
Under apartheid, the white-minority government cemented its grip imposing laws based on the notion of race and racial segregation, and the police ruthlessly hunted down opponents, killing or jailing them.
With Mandela and other leaders in prison for decades, Tutu in the 1970s became the emblem of the anti-apartheid struggle.
He campaigned relentlessly abroad, administering public lashings to the Western world for failing to slap sanctions on the apartheid regime.
After apartheid was dismantled and South Africa ushered in the first free elections in 1994, Tutu chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which exposed the horrors of the past in grim detail.
May his soul Rest in peace