Desmond Tutu: State funeral in Cape Town for anti-apartheid veteran

Desmond Tutu will be buried on Saturday during an official state funeral in South Africa.

The “moral giant” of the anti-apartheid struggle will be laid to rest in St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, where he so often preached against racial injustice.

The Anglican archbishop died on Sunday, aged 90. His body has lain in state in the cathedral ahead of Saturday’s service, where South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaposa, is expected to deliver the main eulogy.

Following the ceremony and a requiem mass, Tutu’s remains will be cremated and buried behind the pulpit from which he had denounced bigotry and racial tyranny.

Tutu turned St George’s into an anti-apartheid refuge during the 1980s and 1990s when security forces brutally repressed the mass democratic movement.

Thousands of people have filed past his coffin to pay their final respects over the past few days and church bells have been rung daily in his honour.

The Nobel laureate was praised by a fellow activist clergyman, Rev Michael Lapsley, as “a moral and spiritual giant loved and revered for fighting for equality for all people”.

Nelson Mandela, who died in 2013, described Tutu as “the voice of the voiceless”.

Additional reporting by agencies

Douglas Mateo

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