Muere el arzobispo sudafricano y Nobel de la Paz Desmond Tutu /Desmond Tutu: South Africa anti-apartheid hero dies aged 90

JOHANNESBURGO.- El arzobispo emérito sudafricano Desmond Tutu, premio Nobel de la Paz de 1984 por su activismo contra el régimen de segregación racista del «apartheid», murió este domingo a los 90 años en Ciudad del Cabo (suroeste), informaron fuentes oficiales.

En un comunicado emitido por el Gobierno sudafricano, el presidente del país, Cyril Ramaphosa, confirmó el fallecimiento del respetado religioso anglicano y envió sus condolencias a la familia Tutu.

«La muerte del arzobispo emérito Desmond Tutu es otro capítulo de pérdida en el adiós de nuestra nación a una generación de destacados sudafricanos que nos legaron una Sudáfrica liberada», señaló el mandatario en el texto.

El presidente describió a Tutu como un «patriota sin igual» y un «hombre de un intelecto extraordinario» que mantuvo su integridad en la lucha contra las «fuerzas del apartheid».

Incluso en democracia, destacó Ramaphosa, Tutu mantuvo el «vigor» y la «vigilancia» del liderazgo para exigir responsabilidades a las instituciones.

También confirmó el fallecimiento el actual arzobispo de Ciudad del Cabo, Thabo Makgoba, quien recordó al Nobel de la Paz como alguien que quería que todos los seres humanos vivieran en «libertad, paz y alegría».

«En nombre de la Iglesia anglicana del sur de África, de toda la comunidad de la fe y, me atrevo a decir, en nombre de millones (de personas) a lo largo de Sudáfrica, África y del mundo, envío nuestras más profundas condolencias a su esposa, Nomalizo Leah, a su hijo, Trevor Tamsanqa, y a sus hijas, Thandeka, Nontombi y Mpho», expresó Makgoba en un comunicado.

«(Tutu) llamó por su nombre al mal allí donde lo vio sin importar quién fuera el que lo cometía. Desafió los sistemas que degradaban la humanidad. Podía desatar una furia justa sobre aquellos -en especial los poderosos- que infligían sufrimiento (…) Cuando los autores del mal experimentaban un verdadero cambio en el corazón, seguía el ejemplo de Dios y estaba dispuesto a perdonar», agregó en el mensaje.

Galardonado con el premio Nobel de la Paz en 1984 por su lucha contra la brutal opresión racista del apartheid, a Tutu se le considera una de las figuras clave de la historia contemporánea sudafricana.

Su trayectoria ha estado marcada por una constante defensa de los derechos humanos, algo que le llevó a desmarcarse en numerosas ocasiones de la jerarquía eclesiástica para defender abiertamente posiciones como los derechos de los homosexuales o la eutanasia.

En los últimos años se había mantenido alejado de la vida pública debido a su avanzada edad y a los problemas de salud que arrastraba desde hacía años, incluido un cáncer de próstata.

Su última aparición pública había sido en unas breves imágenes en vídeo emitidas el día de su 90 cumpleaños (el pasado 7 de octubre), un aniversario que su fundación celebró con una conferencia virtual en la que participaron, entre otros, el máximo líder espiritual tibetano, el Dalai Lama, la activista mozambiqueña y viuda de Nelson Mandela Graça Machel o la expresidenta irlandesa Mary Robinson.

EFE

Desmond Tutu: South Africa anti-apartheid hero dies aged 90

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace prize laureate who helped end apartheid in South Africa, has died aged 90.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said the churchman’s death marked “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans”.

Archbishop Tutu had helped bequeath “a liberated South Africa,” he added.

Tutu was one of the country’s best known figures at home and abroad.

A contemporary of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, he was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.

He was awarded the Nobel prize in 1984 for his role in the struggle to abolish the apartheid system.

Tutu’s death comes just weeks after that of South Africa’s last apartheid-era president, FW de Klerk, who died at the age of 85.

President Ramaphosa said Tutu was “an iconic spiritual leader, anti-apartheid activist and global human rights campaigner”.

He described him as “a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead.

“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world.”

The Nelson Mandela Foundation was among those paying tributes, saying Tutu’s “contributions to struggles against injustice, locally and globally, are matched only by the depth of his thinking about the making of liberatory futures for human societies.

“He was an extraordinary human being. A thinker. A leader. A shepherd.”

Former US president Barack Obama described him as a mentor and a “moral compass”.

Known affectionately as The Arch, Tutu was instantly recognisable, with his purple clerical robes, cheery demeanour and almost constant smile.

He was not afraid to show his emotions in public, including memorably laughing and dancing at the opening ceremony of the football World Cup in South Africa in 2010.

Despite his popularity though he was not a man who was loved by all. He was very critical of the African National Congress (ANC) government in the post-apartheid era, when, at times, he felt it was misrepresenting South Africa – even warning in 2011 that he would pray for its downfall over a cancelled visit by the Dalai Lama.

In response, the national police commissioner Gen Bheki Cele told Tutu to “go home and shut up”.

“He is not a vice-Jesus Christ,” he said.

Ordained as a priest in 1960, Tutu went on to serve as bishop of Lesotho from 1976-78, assistant bishop of Johannesburg and rector of a parish in Soweto. He became Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985, and was appointed the first black Archbishop of Cape Town the following year. He used his high-profile role to speak out against oppression of black people in his home country, always saying his motives were religious and not political.

After Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, Tutu was appointed by him to a Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to investigate crimes committed by both whites and blacks during the apartheid era.

He was also credited with coining the term Rainbow Nation to describe the ethnic mix of post-apartheid South Africa, but in his latter years he expressed regret that the nation had not coalesced in the way in which he had dreamt. https://www.bbc.com/news/