Desmond Tutu: Tributes paid to Archbishop following death

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described Tutu as 'a man of words and action'.

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Tributes have been paid to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu following his death aged 90.

Tutu, who helped end apartheid in South Africa, was announced to have died on Boxing Day.

Confirming the death of Tutu, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa”.

“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead,” he tweeted.

“We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation.”

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation, founded by the retired archbishop and his wife, said: “We are devastated that the Arch is no longer with us, but his passing has strengthened our resolve to spread his warmth and compassion even further afield.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described Tutu as “a man of words and action”.

He tweeted: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a prophet and priest, a man of words and action – one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life. Even in our profound sorrow we give thanks for a life so well lived. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell described him as a “giant”, adding that “the world itself feels a little smaller without him”.

“His expansive vision of how the Christian faith shapes the whole of life has touched many hearts and changed many lives,” he said in a statement.

“The Anglican church in particular gives thanks for one of its greatest saints. But Christian people everywhere, and all people of goodwill, will today be mourning the loss of someone who showed the world what following Jesus looks like and where it leads.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab described Tutu as a “truly great figure”.

He tweeted: “Sad to hear of the passing of Desmond Tutu.

“A truly great figure, who I had the privilege to meet in The Hague when he was working for the victims of war crimes. His adage, ‘Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument’, has never felt more apt.”

Strictly Come Dancing stars Oti and Motsi Mabuse, who grew up in South Africa, joined a host of people in remembering Tutu.

Oti, a dancer on the show, tweeted: “Oh no sad news” and said it was a “major loss” for South Africa.

Strictly Judge Motsi shared a quote on Twitter which read: “Forgiving is not forgetting; its actually remembering – remembering and not using your right to hit back. It’s a second chance for a new beginning. And the remembering part is particularly important. Especially if you don’t want to repeat what happened. R.I.P Desmond Tutu.”

Singer Boy George described him as a “beautiful soul” who “gave me faith that some humans do have a strong love frequency”.

Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon paid tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu following his death.

On Twitter, the First Minister said: “Such sad news this morning … but his was a life that made the world a better place.

“Rest in peace, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss tweeted: “Saddened to hear of Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s death. He was a driving force behind ending apartheid in South Africa and a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize.

“My thoughts are with the people of South Africa.”