The Arch at 90: iconic pictures capture the heart and soul of Desmond Tutu

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Global icon: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is one of the world’s best known human rights activists. He was honoured for his efforts with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. (PHOTO: Facebook/The Era of Africa)
Global icon: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is one of the world’s best known human rights activists. He was honoured for his efforts with a Nobel Peace Prize in 1984. (PHOTO: Facebook/The Era of Africa)

He's one of South Africa’s most famous icons – a hero of the liberation struggle, a rule-breaker, a charmer of note, a family man, a leader, a man of God.

Blessed with irrepressible exuberance, a smile that launched a thousand cartoons and a heart of gold, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a national treasure. So it was only fitting that the Arch was honoured at a special thanksgiving ceremony at Cape Town's St George's Cathedral to celebrate his recent 90th birthday.

Seated in a wheelchair in the front row next to his wife, Leah (87), he beamed and clapped as 150 guests serenaded him with a lively rendition of Happy Birthday.

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