Africa South Area presidency offers condolences on passing of Desmond Tutu, who leaves ‘an indelible legacy’

On behalf of local leaders and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Africa South Area presidency has issued a statement of condolence in joining millions around the world in mourning the recent passing of South African struggle icon and statesman Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

“Nobel Peace laureate Archbishop Tutu was a fearless opponent of oppression and a prominent leader in the fight against apartheid in South Africa,” said the statement from Elder Christoffel Golden, Elder Edward Dube and Elder Ciro Schmeil, General Authority Seventies who comprise the Church’s Africa South Area presidency.

“His messages, from pulpits to tables of negotiation, were consistent: that all of God’s children deserve equal opportunities; and that empathy, tolerance and forgiveness are transcendent principles that can help heal humankind.”

The statement was posted Friday, Dec. 31, on the area’s Newsroom page as well as on the Church’s general Newsroom site.

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Pretoria, South Africa, March 21, 2003. Tutu died Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, at age 90.
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Pretoria, South Africa, March 21, 2003. Tutu died Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021, at age 90. Credit: Themba Hadebe, Associated Press

“Our thoughts and sincere prayers are with the people of South Africa, and all who knew him across the world,” the statement continued. “We honor his lifelong service. His pastoral ministry and inspiring work in promoting peace, reconciliation and human rights will leave an indelible legacy for generations to come.”

Archbishop Tutu died Sunday, Dec. 26, in Cape Town, South Africa. He had been hospitalized several times since 2015 after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997. He was the first Black bishop of Johannesburg and later the Anglican archbishop of Cape Town.

“We affirm our conviction of the soul’s immortal nature and the knowledge that we can join with loved ones after this mortal life has ended. We further testify that the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ opens that pathway to all,” concluded the area presidency’s statement.

“May the comfort and strength that comes through the Savior’s grace be felt by all — especially Mama Leah Tutu and the entire Tutu family.”