The body of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu arrived at St George’s Cathedral today.
There were no flags, no police vehicles, just the hearse.
His body was taken inside the cathedral followed by Ma Leah slowly walking behind the coffin.
The Nobel Peace prize laureate who played a pivotal role in ending Apartheid, died at the age of 90 on Sunday December 26 after two decades of fighting prostate cancer. The Archbishop will lie in state on Thursday and Friday at St George’s Cathedral. Members of the public will be permitted to visit the cathedral and pay tribute to Archbishop Tutu during this time.
On Wednesday December 29, the City of Cape Town hosted an interfaith tribute at City Hall to celebrate the life of the “Arch”, as he was affectionately known.
The bells tolled as guests arrived to cross the red carpet and enter City Hall. On the Grand Parade, a large screen was placed outside for members of the public to view the service as seating inside the venue was limited. The event was live-streamed on the City’s social media platforms and attended by media from around the world.
The tribute was attended by Archbishop Tutu’s family, as well as a variety of political and faith leaders.
Speeches were delivered by Mayor of Cape Town Geordin Hill-Lewis, Western Cape Premier Alan Winde, South African politician and activist Cheryl Carolus and Dr Mamphela Ramphele, chairperson of the Archbishop Desmond Tutu IP Trust.
This is just one of the events being held to honour the Arch, who has been described as a one-of-a-kind national treasure who lived his life in service of others, according to Mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis.
“I, like so many South Africans of a younger generation, never met the Arch or saw him in brilliant action. But I felt the radiance of his influence and the power of his message in my own life,” said Mr Hill-Lewis.
“He stood for a few simple truths that cut across faith and time and place: that injustice must be opposed, that every human has profound moral worth, that we should love our neighbour, and treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves. This message of love was wrapped in irrepressible purple energy that could both charm the good and whither the evil with its sheer intensity and good humour,” said Mr Hill-Lewis.
Condolence books have also been made available for residents to sign outside St George’s Cathedral, and at the City’s Civic Centre. Books will also be made available throughout the week at sub council offices, and messages can be written in an online condolence book.