Desmond Tutu: The sun won’t be as bright but it will rise

2013-12-06 16:27

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Former archbishop Desmond Tutu struggled to fight back tears during an emotional speech at the SABC studios in Sea Point, Cape Town.

He spoke softly of his grief at losing the man whom he considered “the father of our nation”.

Tutu asked the crowd of journalists: “What’s going to happen to us now that our father has died?”

“Does Madiba’s death spell disaster for us? Some have suggested that our country will go up in flames.

“But no. The sun will rise tomorrow and the next day. Perhaps it won’t be as bright as yesterday, but it will rise.”

He said he was relieved that Madiba’s suffering was over. The tearful audience cracked grins when Tutu mimicked Madiba’s voice while sharing some anecdotes.

He said: “God is asking us South Africans to please become what we are, a family. Let us reach out to each other and let Madiba’s dream be our dream.”

This file photo from 1994 shows then president Nelson Mandela holding hands with former archbishop Desmond Tutu in Cape Town. Picture: Jerry Holt/AP

Tutu mentioned examples of the late president’s “extraordinary understanding of the human condition” and spirit of reconciliation.

“Who will forget Madiba having tea and koeksisters with Mrs Bettie Verwoerd in Orania (widow of apartheid architect Hendrik Verwoerd).

“Who will forget Madiba’s presidential inauguration, where his jailer was a VIP guest?,” he asked.

The former arch concluded: “Our potential is immense. We are a fantastic people, and Madiba reminded us of that.”

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