The former Peace Prize winner turned 90 years old.
The former Peace Prize winner and South African archbishop has died, aged 90. It was the news agency Reuters that was the first to report the news.
Tutu became an internationally known name due to its opposition to apartheid in South Africa. This led to him being awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.
Tutu died in Cape Town, where he lived most of his life. In recent years, he has been affected by the aftermath of prostate cancer and has stayed away from the public eye.
Fought for human rights all his life
Tutu started the fight for human rights in South Africa in the 1970s. But it was not until the 1980s that he became known throughout the world as an opponent of the apartheid regime.
For several years he chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. The commission followed up on crimes committed under the apartheid regime.
“Desmond Tutu’s voice will always be the voice of the voiceless,” former President Nelson Mandela said of Tutu.
In recent years, Tutu has been a leading figure in the fight for gay rights in South Africa. His daughter is married to a woman and in 2016 had to resign her job as a priest due to her orientation.
Lost respect for Norway
Tutu was on several visits to this country. In 1994, he was also appointed honorary doctor at the University of Tromsø. But relations with Norway were not just rosy.
– I have always had great respect for Norway. It’s over, Tutu said NRK i 2014.
The reason was that the Norwegian authorities would not meet the Dalai Lama in May of the same year. The then Foreign Minister Børge Brende (H) explained that the government wanted to prevent relations with China from deteriorating further.
Relations between Norway and China took a cool turn when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to human rights activist and author Liu Xiaobo in 2010. Xiabo was one of the Communist Party’s biggest opponents.
Tutu did not spare the gunpowder, and said that Norwegians would end up in a “very hot place” on the last day.
The tributes flow in
Now Desmond Tutu is being hailed around the world. Also from Norway. Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party) writes on Twitter that Tutu made the world a better place.
VG has spoken with both NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg and Minister for Development Aid Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Sp):
– Desmond Tutu changed South Africa and with it a whole world. He showed great courage in his unwavering belief in justice and equality, peace and reconciliation, says Stoltenberg.
Tvinnereim tells the newspaper that Tutu inspired an entire world with the way he reconciled South Africa after the fall of the apartheid regime.
The President of India, Narendra Modi, calls Tutu a leading light for countless people around the world.
All my life in battle
Tutu became known as an opponent of apartheid, but was also concerned with reconciliation between South Africa’s black and white population.
– Forgiving is not the same as forgetting, it is actually remembering. To remember, but not use the right to strike back. It is the possibility of a new beginning, especially if one does not want to repeat what has happened, is one of several quotes that will live on from Tutu.
The archbishop believed that moral, political and economic pressure on the apartheid regime was the only way to force a peaceful solution. His call went to western countries. Tutu never hid his contempt for Western leaders who, on the one hand, condemned sanctions against South Africa, but at the same time advocated a boycott of countries such as Libya.
Undaunted, he sharply criticized a social system that led to the forced relocation of millions of people to black reserves so that whites could have their privileges in peace.
His moral resentment over the racial segregation regime was very strong. “Apartheid is the worst form of oppression the world has seen since Nazism,” Tutu said.
After a particularly harsh outcome during a visit to Denmark in 1979, the regime confiscated his passport. But he got it back and was often on the go. Among other things to Norway, where he received the Peace Prize in 1984.
1 of 6Photo: Lise Åserud / NTB