Cyril Ramaphosa


Our country will not know the peace we seek until all have justice until all have a place to sleep and enough to eat, until all children have an education until all women feel safe in their homes and on our streets.

In the days to come, we will mourn this global icon of peace and freedom.

We will pay tribute to a life lived in the service of God and in the service of his fellow woman and man.

We will recount his achievements, we will recall his teachings and we will cherish fond memories of this man who always tempered criticism with compassion.

President Nelson Mandela said of him that he was a voice that was “sometimes strident, often tender, never afraid, and seldom without humor”. If we truly wish to honor his memory, let us reaffirm, through our actions, his conviction that it is only through justice that we may attain peace.

Let us declare, and let us demonstrate, that even though the body has departed, the spirit lives on, the struggle continues, and the dream endures.

Tonight, we carry in our thoughts and prayers Mam Leah Tutu and the Tutu family.

Our entire nation shares in your loss and your grief.

Know that, even at this moment of great pain, we rejoice in a life that was dedicated to the betterment of others.

We acknowledge the tributes paid to Archbishop Tutu by people across the country and around the world.

This is a testament to the broad reach of Desmond Tutu’s endearing persona and enduring values.

Our nation’s loss is indeed a global bereavement.

In honor of the life and contribution of Desmond Mpilo Tutu, the government will be led by the Anglican Church in the conduct of his funeral.

There will be a period of mourning during which the national flag shall fly at half-mast at all flag stations countrywide and at South African diplomatic missions abroad.

This will be observed from the time of the formal declaration of the funeral until the night before the funeral service.

Details of the funeral and memorial services will be announced in the next few days.

It cannot escape our notice that Archbishop Tutu departed this world at the time of year when much of humanity celebrates the birth of Christ.

We cannot mourn his passing without recognizing the joy, hope, and light that this birth signified to him and continues to signify to people across the world.

It was this joy, this hope, and this light that he preached and celebrated throughout his life.

It says much of the life and the meaning of Desmond Mpilo Tutu that this is a time both of mourning and rejoicing.

It is a time to pay respects to the departed and to celebrate life with the exuberance and the purpose of our beloved Archbishop.

May we follow in his footsteps.

May we too be worthy inheritors of the mantle of service, of selflessness, of courage, and of principled solidarity with the poor and marginalized.

Above all, let us abide by the words of First Corinthians 13, verse 13:“And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love. But the greatest of these is love.

”He loved his fellow men and women. He loved the Church. He loved his country.

Go well, good and faithful servant. You will be sorely missed.

May God bless South Africa and protect its people.

Thank you.

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