Monday, January 17

Memorial deceased Desmond Tutu (90): – Radiated his own joy and strength

VISITING NORWAY: Former Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg and Archbishop Desmond Tutu in 2000.

The Peace Prize winner worked all his life for community and to promote the voices of the weak. Now he is honored after his death.


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The South African archbishop and anti-apartheid opponent passed away peacefully on 25 December.

– 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 NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg to VG.

Tutu visited Norway a number of times, including in 2000, when Stoltenberg was prime minister.

– I had the pleasure of meeting him in different contexts and he always radiated his own joy and strength that inspired people all over the world.

DEAD: Desmond Tutu (90), South African archbishop, apartheid opponent and peace prize winner. Pictured here in 2017.

Støre: – Grief and gratitude

– A great little man who showed the power of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is with sadness and gratitude that today we received the news from South Africa that Desmond Tutu has passed away, writes Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party) on his Facebook page.

Desmond Tutu received the Peace Prize in 1984. Rarely has a peace prize been more correct, according to Støre.

– Desmond Tutu was one of the most intensely lively, present and engaging people I have met. It shone in his eyes when you talked to him, writes Støre.

VISIT TO NORWAY: “The Elders” will meet in Oslo in 2012. From left: former US President Jimmy Carter, then Secretary of State Jonas Gahr Støre and Desmond Tutu.

Støre: Meetings I will never forget

The Prime Minister talks about one of the meetings:

– The first time I met him was in a church in Soweto outside Johannesburg in 1986. Tutu held a service we do not see in Norway. It was in the midst of a hard apartheid era of violence and oppression. But the service was a feast; with music, dance and fiery speeches. When we met on the church hill, he came over and asked who I was. When I said I came from Norway, he hugged me as if we were close relatives.

– Since then, I met him on several occasions. It was meetings with a presence I will never forget. Also with a good dose of humor, which wrapped up his always sharp analyzes and moves.

Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party) praises Tutu on Twitter:

– Desmond Tutu combined the fight against apartheid with important contributions to reconciliation between people, she writes.

– He contributed to a better world in the work against racial segregation policy, and in his older days became a front figure for the fight for gay rights.

SHOUTS TUTU: Minister of Foreign Affairs Anniken Huitfeldt (Labor Party).

– Exceptional

Minister for Development Aid Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Sp) emphasizes how important Tutu’s work was in the fight against apartheid in South Africa.

– He has inspired a whole world, including me, ever since we learned about the abuses and injustice during the apartheid regime, Tvinnereim says to VG.

– He is the origin of the term «rainbow nation». His leadership in the South African Truth Commission was also exceptional, in that he led the country into “a third way” when the country was to be reconciled after the abuses during apartheid, she says and adds:

He called it restorative justice, not revenge and not forgetfulness, but a path to reconciliation, in a way the world had not seen before.

SHELFING TUTU: Minister for Development Aid Anne Beathe Tvinnereim (Sp). Here with Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre (Labor Party).

– Informal and fun

Jostein Hole Kobbeltvedt, head of the Rafto Foundation, met Tutu several times, including when he was head of Norwegian Church Aid’s offices in southern Africa.

– A legend has passed away. Together with Nelson Mandela, he is the one who has been most visible in the work of fighting apartheid, Kobbeltvedt says to VG.

– He was also a guy who was very informal and fun to hang out with. There was something that struck you when you met him. Tutu kept telling jokes and slapped his thigh, he was very unpretentious.

MEETED IN 2013: Leader of the Rafto Foundation, Jakob Hole Kobbeltvedt, says that Desmond Tutu had a striking humor.

The Rafto leader also points out that Tutu has recently fought for gay rights and against corruption in the ruling ANC party.

– He has constantly entered new battles, and was not afraid to take a brave and controversial stance in South Africa, he says.

– Got a place in all our hearts

Left-wing deputy leader Abid Raja also praises Tutu on Twitter:

Desmond Tutu dedicated his life to fighting for freedom and justice, he took the fight against racism and against homosexuality. He fought with the poor, writes Raja.

– With his wisdom, friendly personality and with his warmest smile, he got a place in all our hearts.

Atle Sommerfeldt, former bishop of Borg and general secretary of Norwegian Church Aid from 1994 to 2011, describes Tutu as a role model.

– One of the greatest church leaders of our time promoted to the eternity of God. He taught many of us to anchor our own and the church’s community commitment to justice in the mystery of the sacraments and the divine equality of all people, Sommerfeldt writes on Twitter.

– A prophetic figure

– He was a towering figure in the church and for everyone in the whole world. His charisma and work with the Peace and Reconciliation Commission is something we still learn from, says Oslo Bishop Kari Veiteberg.

She says that Tutu has long had a close relationship with the Church of Norway. Despite retiring due to illness in the later years of his life, a Norwegian delegation was allowed to visit Tutu and his wife in their home as late as 2018.

– The Peace Prize from 1984 is something he still remembers well, says the bishop.

HOME VISIT: A delegation from the Church of Norway visited Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah Tutu in their home in 2018.

– Tutu was a prophetic figure. He could come up with a few bites from time to time, says Veiteberg.

Among other things, Desmond Tutu is said to have said that he did not want to end up in heaven if there were homophobic people there, according to the bishop.

– His involvement in the conflict between Israel and Palestine is also something that not everyone has liked to hear. In that sense, he has been a Christian leader who has at all times stated what he thinks we need to hear, says Veiteberg.

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