Zuma wishes Tutu a happy birthday

2011-10-07 13:29
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Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma wished Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu a long and healthy life on his 80th birthday on Friday.

"Archbishop Tutu has a special place in the hearts of our people for the manner in which he stood up against the apartheid state, speaking out against injustice and oppression," Zuma said in a statement

"His campaign against sanctions added greater impetus to that of the liberation movement led by the African National Congress, and kept the spirit of resistance high inside the country."

He said Tutu continued to play an important role in the country, and was admired by thousands of South Africans.

"As one of our four Nobel Peace Prize laureates, we respect him, love him and always welcome his counsel on issues. Happy Birthday Arch, ukhule njalo!"

Tutu was born in 1931 in Klerksdorp, west of Johannesburg.

He sharply attacked the ANC earlier in the week over the way the government had handled a visa application by Tibean spiritual leader the Dalai Lama.

"I am warning you like I warned the Nationalists that one day we will start praying for the defeat of the ANC government. You are disgraceful," he said.

The Dalai Lama cancelled a planned trip to South Africa to attend Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations.

At the time he was still awaiting a decision on his visa.

His office said: "We are now convinced that for whatever reason or reasons, the South African government finds it inconvenient to issue a visa to... the Dalai Lama."
- SAPA
Read more on:    desmond tutu  |  dalai lama  |  jacob zuma
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