Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against apartheid died last Sunday at the age of 90.
“Redoubtable priest, arguably the greatest religious leader of his generation, renowned freedom fighter, fearless anti-apartheid activist, committed human rights leader, iconic Nobel Peace Prize winner, he fulfilled his life’s purpose on earth, and received the plaudits of a grateful posterity,” said President Akufo-Addo.
“The history of Africa’s struggle for freedom from colonialism, imperialism and the racist ideology of apartheid has been immeasurably enriched by the contribution of this jovial, dedicated and principled defender of the liberties and rights of Africans and oppressed peoples of the world.
“His work as Chairperson of the historic Truth and Reconciliation Commission of South Africa, established by his outstanding compatriot, contemporary and friend, Madiba, President Nelson Mandela, the 1st President of democratic South Africa, was instrumental in promoting reconciliation amongst the peoples of South Africa in the post – apartheid era, which enabled a united South Africa to emerge from the debris of apartheid, much to the astonishment of many in South Africa and around the world.
“The Commission provided an example, which was followed elsewhere in several countries in Africa, where systematic violations of human rights had at a given moment become part of their political culture, including our own Ghana.
“On behalf of the people and Government of the Republic of Ghana, I extend our deepest condolences to President Matemela Cyril Ramaphosa, the people and Government of the Republic of South Africa and his family on the death of one of Africa’s most noble, patriotic sons, Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu,”
President Akufo-Addo said.
Arch Bishop Tutu was hailed by both black and white South Africans as the country’s “moral compass.”
He won the Nobel Prize in 1984 in recognition of his non-violent opposition to white minority rule.
He was instrumental 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.
After the end of apartheid, he chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to unearth atrocities committed under it.
Tutu was one of the country’s best known figures at home and abroad.
He died weeks after the death of South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, FW de Clerk.