Photo © Niklas Maupoix/CC
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was a giant of the struggle against apartheid. A tireless defender of human rights, he lived out his faith through action, driven by his love for all of humankind.
When Nelson Mandela and other liberation leaders were imprisoned or forced into exile, Desmond Tutu found himself at the forefront of the struggle. His rapid rise through the ranks of the Anglican Church gave Archbishop Tutu a global platform to expose and challenge the devastating injustices of apartheid.
Tutu’s moving, impassioned speeches and sermons would inspire millions to join the struggle against a brutal regime that could never silence this courageous ‘rabble-rouser for peace’.
The virtues of peace, love, forgiveness and hope which he embodied undoubtedly helped shape the path toward a united, democratic, non-racial and non-sexist South Africa, particularly efforts to heal the rainbow nation through his leadership of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Despite officially retiring in 2010, he was always amongst the first to speak truth to power, not only in South Africa or the Church, but wherever he saw justice was denied. Until his sad passing he continued to be a staunch advocate for LGBT+ rights, Palestinian rights, and for the rights of oppressed people everywhere.
To UNISON and our predecessor unions Desmond Tutu was and is an inspiration. His courageous and principled leadership and passion for human rights encouraged thousands of our activists and members who stood in solidarity with the people of South Africa against the apartheid system.
The world is a better place because of Desmond Tutu. We celebrate his life and send our condolences to his family, friends and all the people of South Africa.
Hamba Kahle Desmond Mpilo Tutu, go well.