Tutu on injustice - ‘I have to speak up or I will die'

2016-04-22 13:31
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah received the Archbishop Award for commitment to social justice at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah received the Archbishop Award for commitment to social justice at the St George's Cathedral in Cape Town. (Jenna Etheridge, News24)

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


Tutu on racism: hurtful but not surprising

2016-02-03 08:44

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu says recent and hotly discussed incidents of racism are hurtful but not surprising. WATCH

Cape Town – Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu on Friday said he did not fight for justice his entire life because he wanted an award, but because it had to be done.

After he and his wife Leah had received an award for their commitment to social justice, he told journalists he could not help but act where needed.

"Even when the consequences of speaking up are as dire as they used to be under the apartheid system, you say 'Tough luck, I have to speak or I will die'".

"[Otherwise] I will maybe still be alive physically, but I will not be alive in my spirit."

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba of Cape Town presented the Award for Peace with Justice to the elderly couple in a service at St George’s Cathedral at 07:00.

At 84, Tutu’s age was visible in his slow shuffle to the altar and the time he took to sit and rise from his seat during the service.

Tutu said afterwards that they were both very humbled. He thanked his dark complexion for hiding his blushing.

"I hope that it can help to inspire others to know that even when it seems that no one is noticing, yet yes, people notice and people appreciate you."

He thanked Magkoba, his successor, for the initiative. 

Previous recipients of the award include Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and former Zambian president Kenneth Kaunda.

Makgoba said that, with a Bible verse in mind, he had looked at the principles and values of service to humanity, loving God, and walking humbly.

"There is no one better than the Tutus to be honoured in that way and indeed it is the church that is privileged and honoured to have bestowed this award upon them," Makgoba said.

City workers had filed into the cathedral before the sun was even up. 

Tutu personally acknowledged first time visitors to the church, who turned out to be from all corners of the globe. Most were from Europe and North America.

A gaggle of singing schoolgirls in uniform did not miss out on the opportunity to have a selfie taken with Tutu.

Read more on:    desmond tutu  |  cape town

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.

Inside News24

Financial advisors – Do you need one and should you get one?

The good, the bad, and everything else you need to know when considering hiring a financial advisor.


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
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.