The Arch to attend D'Oliveira memorial

18 December 2011 - 04:13 By Shanaaz Eggington
Basil D'Oliviera
Basil D'Oliviera

ARCHBISHOP Emeritus Desmond Tutu will join family and friends at a memorial service today to celebrate the life of cricket legend Basil D'Oliveira.

He will be joined by archbishops Thabo Makgoba and Njongonkulu Ndugane at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

A message from Nelson Mandela, via the Nelson Mandela Foundation, will also be read at the service.

D'Oliveira is remembered for the huge role he played in helping to defy apartheid.

As a mixed-race Capetonian, in South African terms a "coloured" player, he was denied the chance to play for the country of his birth owing to racial segregation.

He became a test cricketer in England and was selected for the 1968/69 England tour to South Africa.

This so offended the South African government under John Vorster that they refused to allow D'Oliveira to take part in the tour, which was then cancelled. As a result, the country was exiled from international cricket until 1991.