President Lazarus Chakwera has described South Africa’s Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a global icon whose life is worth emulating.
In a statement on Sunday, the President said Tutu will be fondly remembered for his power of deliberate, honest and constructive dialogue to facilitate lasting peace among people of different races and creeds.
He said: “I, together with fellow Malawians, express heartfelt condolences to the Tutu family, South Africans everywhere, and everyone he touched in one way or another during his life of exceptional service to humanity.”
Chakwera said not only does he and the country join the whole world in mourning the bishop and theologian, but also feels inspired by his life to do things in making the world a better place for everybody.
The BBC and other international media outlets on Sunday reported that Tutu, a Nobel laureate who helped end apartheid in South Africa, died at 90.
Writing on his Twitter page, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa described the passing of Tutu as another chapter of bereavement in the country’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South African’s that have liberated and bequeathed the nation.
He wrote: “Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without work is dead.”
Born on October 7 1931, Tutu was ordained as a priest in 1960 and went on to serve as bishop of Lesotho from 1976 to 1978 before serving as assistant bishop of Johannesburg and rector of a parish in Soweto.
He went on to become Bishop of Johannesburg in 1985, and was appointed the first black Archbishop of Cape Town the following year.
He is known for using his high-profile role to speak out against oppression of black people in South Africa with emphasis that his motives were religious and not political.
After Nelson Mandela became South Africa’s first black president in 1994, Tutu was appointed by him to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up to investigate crimes committed by both whites and blacks during the apartheid era.
He is described as South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero.