The whole world has reacted with sadness to the death of Desmond Tutu. The South African bishop died at home at the age of 90.
Former US President Barack Obama praised Tutu as a “mentor, friend, and moral compass”. “He never lost his mischievous sense of humor and was always willing to find humanity in his opponents.” His predecessor Bill Clinton spoke warmly in a statement about the eloquence, humor, and determination of the “brilliant” Tutu.
Tutu’s death leaves Britain’s Queen Elizabeth “deeply saddened”. The queen called him “a man who tirelessly stood up for human rights in South Africa and around the world”. She also praises his great warmth and humor.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson described Tutu as a “critical figure” in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa. “He will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humor.”
Members of Johnson’s government also responded. Foreign Secretary Liz Truss describes Tutu as “the driving force behind ending apartheid in South Africa”. For her colleague at Justice, Dominic Raab, Tutu is “a great figure I had the pleasure of meeting in The Hague when he was committed to the victims of war crimes”.
“Desmond Tutu combined the fight against apartheid with an important contribution to reconciliation between people. He contributed to a better world with his protest against the apartheid policy. In his later days, he became a leading figure in the fight for gay rights,” said Norwegian Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt.
“I am saddened by the passing of a wise man of the world, human rights leader, and powerful pilgrim on earth. We are better because he was here,” Bernice King said. She is the daughter of the murdered American Reverend Martin Luther King.
“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of mourning in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who left us a liberated South Africa,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said. “Tutu was an unprecedented patriot, a principled and pragmatic leader who gave meaning to the Biblical understanding that faith without works is dead.”
“Desmond Tutu’s struggle for the end of apartheid and South African reconciliation will remain in our memory. He was committed to human rights and the equality of peoples,” added French President Emmanuel Macron.
Charles Michel, the President of the European Council, described Tutu as a man who devoted his life to freedom. At the same time, he showed a “deep commitment to human dignity” and was “a giant who stood up to apartheid”. “You will be sorely missed,” Michel wrote on Twitter.