'We didn't always see eye to eye ... but may the Lord welcome him home': Buthelezi on Tutu's passing

26 December 2021 - 15:11
Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Archbishop Desmond Tutu represented "exactly what was needed as our country, and the world, transitioned from racial injustice to deepening democracy".
Mangosuthu Buthelezi said Archbishop Desmond Tutu represented "exactly what was needed as our country, and the world, transitioned from racial injustice to deepening democracy".
Image: Sandile Ndlovu

Archbishop Desmond Tutu was the right man at the right time as SA made its difficult transition from an apartheid state to a multiparty democracy.

This was the tribute paid by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi to Tutu's family on Sunday.

“Archbishop Tutu served his country with utmost commitment,” said Buthelezi.

“He was a man of faith and strong convictions who sought freedom for the oppressed. His contribution to the liberation struggle will forever be honoured in the telling of history, and his pursuit of reconciliation between black and white will stand as his life’s testimony.”

Tutu represented “exactly what was needed as our country, and the world, transitioned from racial injustice to deepening democracy”, he said. 

The IFP founder and president emeritus said it was “no secret” that he and Tutu did not always see eye to eye.

“There were moments during our liberation struggle when his actions were difficult to understand,” he said.

“Yet we were in the midst of a tempest. I have no doubt that we were both following our conscience and doing what we believed to be right.

“As he steps into eternity, may the Lord welcome him home,” Buthelezi added.

DA leader John Steenhuisen said a “true SA giant has left us today,” adding that Tutu's spirit would live on in the everyday kindness South Africans show each other.

The DA leader noted that Tutu had played a key role in ending apartheid and navigating the transition to constitutional democracy through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC).

“For almost three decades since, he has been a voice of reason and compassion against poverty, racism, xenophobia and corruption, and for human development,” Steenhuisen said.

“When we lost our way, he was the moral compass that brought us back.”

Tutu had played key role during the HIV epidemic, with his Desmond Tutu Health Foundation working to protect all South Africans from the epidemic. 

He also campaigned against the infringement of LGBTIQ rights across Africa.

He was a most wonderful individual, possessing both great kindness and great courage,” Steenhuisen said.

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