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Tributes flow for South African Archbishop who died at 90

“His contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberator futures for human societies. He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd.”

Desmond Tutu and former  South African president Nelson Mandela, right,  in Cape Town in 1994..

Desmond Tutu and former South African president Nelson Mandela, right, in Cape Town in 1994..Credit:AP

The Pope

“His Holiness Pope Francis was saddened to learn of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu… Mindful of his service to the gospel through the promotion of racial equality and reconciliation in his native South Africa, his Holiness commends his soul to the loving mercy of Almighty God.”

Former US president Barack Obama

“Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a mentor, a friend and a moral compass for me and so many others. A universal spirit, Archbishop Tutu was grounded in the struggle for liberation and justice in his own country, but also concerned with injustice everywhere.

“He never lost his impish sense of humour and willingness to find humanity in his adversaries, and Michelle and I will miss him dearly.”

The US president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama do push-ups with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as they participate in youth activities raising awareness for HIV prevention at Cape Town, South Africa.

The US president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama do push-ups with Archbishop Desmond Tutu as they participate in youth activities raising awareness for HIV prevention at Cape Town, South Africa. Credit:AFP/File

Queen Elizabeth II

“I am joined by the whole Royal Family in being deeply saddened by the news of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a man who tirelessly championed human rights in South Africa and across the world. I remember with fondness my meetings with him and his great warmth and humour.

“Archbishop Tutu’s loss will be felt by the people of South Africa, and by so many people in Great Britain, Northern Ireland and across the Commonwealth, where he was held in such high affection and esteem.”

Queen Elizabeth II emerges from St. George’s Cathedral with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the end of a service to commemorate Human Rights Day, in Cape Town in 1995.

Queen Elizabeth II emerges from St. George’s Cathedral with Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the end of a service to commemorate Human Rights Day, in Cape Town in 1995.Credit:AP

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu – a towering global figure for peace & justice, voice of the voiceless & inspiration to people everywhere.

“We will continue to draw strength from his humanity, passion & resolve to fight for a better world for all.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Tutu was a believer in “human dignity and the power of freedom”.

“His deep faith was his powerhouse that made the world a better place. Thank you and ‘well done good and faithful servant’.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

Former US president Jimmy Carter

“No words better exemplify his ministry than the three he contributed to a work of art at The Carter Centre: Love, freedom and compassion.”

John Steenhuisen, leader of South African opposition party The Democratic Alliance

“A true South African giant has left us today, but his spirit will live on … in our continued effort to build a united, successful, non-racial South Africa for all … When we lost our way, he was the moral compass that brought us back.”

EU Foreign Policy Chief Josep Borrell

“Desmond Tutu did a lot of good for the world. His legacy of resistance to apartheid and to inequalities lives on in today’s South Africa and for all humankind.”

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

“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.”

The Dalai Lama, Tibet’s spiritual leader

“The friendship and the spiritual bond between us was something we cherished. Archbishop Desmond Tutu was entirely dedicated to serving his brothers and sisters for the greater common good.”

The Dalai Lama, left, looks on as Archbishop Desmond Tutu does an impromptu dance move after remarking that his wireless microphone made him feel like pop star Michael Jackson, during an event at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2008.

The Dalai Lama, left, looks on as Archbishop Desmond Tutu does an impromptu dance move after remarking that his wireless microphone made him feel like pop star Michael Jackson, during an event at the University of Washington in Seattle in 2008. Credit:AP

Bernice King, daughter of Martin Luther King

“I’m saddened to learn of the death of global sage, human rights leader, and powerful pilgrim on earth … We are better because he was here.”

American former tennis player Billie Jean King

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu tirelessly advocated for a non-violent end to apartheid. He was also a champion for LGBTQ community.”

World Council Of Churches

“His contagious sense of humour and laughter has helped to resolve many critical situations in South Africa’s political and church life. He was able to break almost any deadlock. He shared with us the laughter and grace of God many a time.”

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson

“He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa – and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour.”

UK Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab

“His adage, ‘Don’t raise your voice, improve your argument’, has never felt more apt.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

“One of his sayings is terse, but forceful and true: ‘If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.’”

Basim Naeem, senior official with Palestinian Islamist militant group Hamas

“Our Palestinian people lost a strong supporter of their march towards freedom and independence. Father Desmond Tutu spent his entire life struggling against racism and defending human rights and especially on the Palestinian land.”

Wasel Abu Youssef, member of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation

“Father Desmond Tutu was one of the biggest supporters of the Palestinian cause. He had always advocated the rights of the Palestinians to gain their freedom and rejected Israeli occupation and apartheid.”

UNAIDS, the joint United Nations program on HIV/AIDS

“He was a powerful voice in the fight against AIDS, combating denial, demanding access to treatment for all, calling out against discrimination of people living with HIV, and championing the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people, women, and children. His work on HIV and tuberculosis prevention and treatment changed global paradigms and saved many lives.”

Reuters

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