By HOMELAND MEDIA/and Wandiswa Ntengento
Faith based organizations across South Africa are remembering the late anti-apartheid and human rights activist, Archbishop Desmond Tutu by promising to promote equality and speak out against injustices.
Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba this week revealed that the family of Tutu have been planning for his death and funeral arrangements for more than six years.
In 1985, Tutu became the first black bishop of Johannesburg. He said only harsh economic sanctions can force the white apartheid government to change its course. St John’s Anglican Church Reverend, Dr. Samuel Beja says the church cannot afford to be silent.
“The ruling party and this government was born in the church. The Methodist church so it means then that when there is no change, we are called to enter the courts. We need to sit down and bring our prophetic voice and say let us change the direction. “
In 2006, South Africa became the sixth country in the world to legalise same-sex marriage.
Despite his dying wish of not wanting an official state funeral, President Cyril Ramaphosa decided to give Tutu the category 1 special official funeral as an honor to his life.
“He was a humble man. Even whether we have a problem, we would turn to him and he would speak out. He wanted to buried like a simple man but President Ramaphosa wanted to honor him by giving him a state funeral.” Mphumzile khutshwayo, Archbishop and taxi rank manager.
In 2020, South Africa’s Public Works Minister, Patricia De Lille revealed that the government spent over 2 million US dollars for the state funeral of anti-apartheid fighter, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in 2018. South African citizen, Siseko Dayimani says he hopes that there will not be any state funeral fraud investigations after Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s funeral.
“Corruption has ended. Presidential Ramaphosa is trying hold those who are corrupt accountable. However, that is not enough because fraudsters are still there. We cannot runaway from that reality. I’m sure even at Desmond Tutu’s funeral, there will be people who try to defraud the state funds from the funeral.” Siseko dayimani, citizen
Prior to Tutu’s death at age ninety, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in his seventies and has been in and out of hospital for various treatments. The anti-apartheid’s ashes have been interred at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu lashed out at the Anglican Church for what he described as an “obsession” with homosexuality. Tutu was also known to have transformed the church by bringing women into the clergy.
“Desmond emerged from what we call the Imago Dei doctrine which is undergirded on the fact that those men and women are created in the image of God and are co-equal and codependent. In so far as that, we support him fully. “
Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s official state funeral were held on the 1st of January after the lying-in-state period in Cape Town for mourners to view his body.
Desmond Tutu’s widow, Leah Tutu mourns husband
In Cape Town, in St George’s Anglican Cathedral where a requiem mass was held in honour of Desmond Tutu after the national anthem, President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy before handing over the nation’s flag to the archbishop’s widow.
“If Archbishop Desmond Tutu was here, he would have said ‘hey, hey, why do you look so sad so unhappy'” he said.
South Africa paid tribute to its last great anti-apartheid hero, Desmond Tutu, in Cape Town on Saturday in a funeral that was not as lavish as he had wanted but was full of emotion and words recalling how the little man in the purple robe made history.
“The Archbishop was undoubtedly a crusader in the struggle for freedom, justice, equality and peace, not only in his native South Africa, but throughout the world. Such was Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s impact and influence that tributes have been paid by past and present presidents, religious leaders, monarchs, legislators, political parties, musicians, artists and ordinary people from all corners of the world,” added President Cyril Ramaphosa.
Letsie III, the King of Lesotho, the representative of the Dalai Lama with whom Tutu exchanged memorable laughs, and former Irish President Mary Robinson were among the guests at the ceremony. Tutu had asked that the light pine coffin in which he lay for the last two days in the cathedral, for thousands to come and honour the memory of his struggles and enthusiasms, be chosen “as cheaply as possible”.
No gold handles, just simple pieces of rope to carry it. On top, a simple bouquet of white flowers.