Tutu speaks 'the uncomfortable truths'

2012-10-04 22:21
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah share a moment during their combined birthday party after hearing that Tutu has been awarded a special prize from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. (Picture: Supplied)

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah share a moment during their combined birthday party after hearing that Tutu has been awarded a special prize from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation. (Picture: Supplied)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


Tutu receives $1m award

2012-10-05 09:40

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was awarded a one-off R8.52m ($1m) prize by the Mo Ibrahim foundation on Thursday. Watch Ibrahim explain why.WATCH

Johannesburg - Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu thanked the Mo Ibrahim Foundation for the "once-off" special award it gave him on Thursday.

"I would like to thank Mr Mo Ibrahim and his Foundation for their faith in our work," Tutu said in a statement.

He said he had received news of the prize while celebrating a combined birthday party with his wife Leah.

"I have been very fortunate throughout my life to be surrounded by people of the highest calibre, beginning with my extraordinary wife," Tutu said.

"It is these generous people who have guided, prodded, assisted, cajoled and ultimately allowed me to take the credit."

The special award, which carries a cash prize of $1m (about R8.5m), will be formally presented to Tutu in Dakar, Senegal, at the 2012 Ibrahim Forum.

"In everything he stands for, everything he says, and everything he does, he displays a consistent obligation to give a voice to the voiceless and to speak the uncomfortable truths," said Mo Ibrahim, in Johannesburg.

In August, Tutu made headlines when he withdrew his attendance at a Discovery leadership summit, because former British prime minister Tony Blair was speaking at the same event.

At the time, Tutu said Blair's decision to support the United States' military invasion of Iraq, on the basis of unproven allegations of the existence in Iraq of weapons of mass destruction, was morally indefensible.

Last month, he called for Blair and former United States president George Bush to face prosecution at the International Criminal Court for their roles in the 2003 United States-led invasion of Iraq.

Also last month, the retired Anglican Church's archbishop said democracy in South Africa had turned into a nightmare.

"But I ask myself, why were we in the struggle? The highest price was paid for freedom, but are we treating it as something precious?"

Ibrahim said on Thursday that Tutu's integrity deserved recognition.

"We hope this award will inspire the next generation," said Ibrahim.

Jay Naidoo, who attended the announcement said the award was not given to Tutu because he was part of the older generation, but was meant to inspire others.

He said society had to work towards having organisations, young people and women in business who would be awarded similar prizes.

Ibrahim said the award was not a replacement of the Ibrahim Prize for Achievement but rather "reflected the assessment" of the Achievement Prize.

The Ibrahim Prize for Achievement is awarded to African heads of state who have excelled during their terms in office. It aims to recognise good and responsible governance.

Joaquim Chissano, of Mozambique, was the first to be awarded the prize in 2007. Botswana's Festus Mogae was awarded the prize in 2008.

In 2007, former president Nelson Mandela became an Honorary Laureate for his role in South Africa and the African community.

Pedro Pires, former president of Cape Verde, was the recipient in 2011. No award was made in 2009.

Tutu turns 81-years-old on Sunday. His wife's birthday is next week.

Desmond and Leah Legacy Foundation executive director Reverend Mpho Tutu said her father was caught in a rather busy retirement from public life.

"He is trying to slow down, to quiet down, but knows there is still so much work to be done," the reverend said.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    mo ibrahim  |  desmond tutu

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

The game of Heyneke’s life
Kriel braced for titanic Welsh clash
VIDEO: The Boks training at Pennyhill Park
O'Connell - Ireland's warrior king
Traffic Alerts

You may find it hard to focus on the mundane routines as the greener pastures seem so tempting. It is a good time to expand your...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.