South African anti-apartheid figure Desmond Tutu dies aged 90
Nobel Peace Prize laureate, anti-apartheid hero, and pro-Palestine champion Archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away on Sunday aged 90.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate who fought for the end of apartheid in South Africa, has passed away today, at 90 years of age.
The Archbishop was known for his endless activism, which did not stop despite his advanced age. He is credited as a main figure in the activism to bring about the end of South Africa's apartheid rule, stressing non-violent activism and foreign economic pressure as means to achieve the goal.
The late was a confidant and friend of South African leader Nelson Mandela.
He was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1981, 1982, 1983 and finally won it in 1984.
This award is for you, mothers in the KTC squatter camp, whose shelters are destroyed callously every day, and who sit on soaking mattresses in the winter rain, holding whimpering babies... This award is for you, the 3.5 million of our people who have been uprooted and dumped as if you were rubbish. This award is for you.
- An excerpt from Tutu's award acceptance speech
Championing Palestinians' rights
Seeing the parallels between the South African apartheid government and the Israeli occupation's practices in Palestine, the Archbishop took a solid stance in favor of Palestine, which can be seen in his many addresses and articles published in renowned international papers throughout the years. Tutu went as far as to urge the Episcopal Church not to invest in companies that support the Israeli occupation, and asked for a global boycott of "Israel".
Just as we rightly hear the cry of migrants seeking shelter and asylum on the borders of the US, so, too, does our conscience demand we campaign to end the detention of children and political prisoners caught in the 51-year-old vice of occupation. There is no escaping that the investment of financial resources in companies that support the infrastructure of this brutal occupation make the Church complicit in the injustices suffered by Palestinians. We offer our unceasing prayer as you discern what Jesus requires in this and all the sad injustices that face us in these times.
- A letter to General Convention regarding Justice in the Holy Land, Archbishop Tutu, 2018
Despite retiring from public life in 2010 in order to spend more time with his family, Tutu would remain a figure in the pro-Palestine movement, and was relentless in his eagerness to achieve justice for Palestine.
May he rest in peace.