Cyril Ramaphosa, President of South Africa, issued a statement calling his death “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans,” going on to say he helped to leave behind “a liberated South Africa,” and calling him “an iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner.”
He was a major player in ending the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the Black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991, and won the Nobel prize in 1984 in his role to abolish apartheid.
The Nelson Mandela Foundation issued a statement as well, noting that his “contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberatory futures for human societies.
He was also known for his joyful demeanor and laughter, and known affectionately as “The Arch.”
Former President Obama awarded him the Congressional Medal of Freedom in August of 2009 for his stand against apartheid in South Africa.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle more recently brought baby Archie to meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu: “It’s not lost on us just how huge and significant a moment that is…I think Archie will look back at that in so many years and understand that right at the beginning of his life he was fortunate enough to have this moment with one of the best and most impactful leaders of out times… It’s really special,” Meghan said at the time.
Our thoughts are with Desmond Tutu‘s loved ones at this very difficult time.
We have sadly lost many beloved figures in 2021.