Respect Equality

Only 100 people allowed to attend funeral of Desmond Tutu due to coronavirus restrictions

Flowers are placed alongside a photo of Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu at the St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa, Sunday, Dec. 26, 2021. South Africa’s president says Tutu, South Africa’s Nobel Peace Prize-winning activist for racial justice and LGBT rights and the retired Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town, has died at the age… (AP Photo)

Story at a glance

  • Pandemic regulations mean only 100 people will be allowed to attend the funeral of Archbishop and Nobel laureate Desmond Tutu.
  • The cleric, whose activism against South Africa’s apartheid earned him the Nobel Peace Prize, passed away the day after Christmas.
  • Tutu’s funeral is scheduled on New Year’s Day. .

Only 100 people will be allowed to attend the funeral mass for Desmond M. Tutu, the first Black archbishop of Cape Town, due to pandemic restrictions in South Africa, The New York Times reported Monday. 

The archbishop, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his anti-apartheid activism, died Sunday, Dec. 26, at the age of 90. 

“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a statement


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“A man of extraordinary intellect, integrity and invincibility against the forces of apartheid, he was also tender and vulnerable in his compassion for those who had suffered oppression, injustice and violence under apartheid, and oppressed and downtrodden people around the world.”

Tutu’s remains will be cremated and his ashes will be interred at St. George’s Cathedral — his former church — on Jan. 1, according to The New York Times. 

Family members and fellow clerics will take precedence on the service’s guest list, the publication added, with members of the public expected to abide by social distancing rules. 

COVID-19 cases have spiked in the country following the detection of the highly transmissible omicron variant in November.


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