A rough wooden coffin, a bunch of pale flowers from the family garden. The state funeral for Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped put an end to the racist regime in South Africa who died last Sunday at the age of 90, was characterized by simplicity as requested by the archbishop. At the funeral, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa was present only 100 people due to restrictions on the coronavirus. Tutu had insisted that it shouldn’t be there “No ostentation or sumptuous expenses” for the ceremony and that he was given “the cheapest coffin available”. He also said that the only flowers in the cathedral had to be “The carnations of his family”. Tutu’s body will be liquefied with a chemical process that uses water described as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation. The ashes buried behind the pulpit of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, the Anglican diocese that served as archbishop for 35 years.
Desmond Tutu was “the spiritual father of our nation – said Ramaphosa – Tutu was a crusader in the struggle for freedom, justice, equality and peace. Not only in South Africa, but throughout the world, if by global icon we mean a person of great moral stature, of exceptional quality, at the service of humanity, there is no doubt that we are referring to the person we lead to eternal rest today ”.
The widow, Nomalizo Leah, arrived in the church in a wheelchair, wearing a purple shawl as her deceased husband’s cardinal’s robe. And President Ramaphosa handed her the six-colored South African flag that led Tutu to coin the term “rainbow nation“, Which has become a symbol of the reconciliation of the country after the end of apartheid. In a video message released during the funeral, the Archbishop of Canterbury said he felt like “a mouse paying homage to an elephant” and greeted the man who was able to “give light to the world”. While Tutu’s daughter thanked for the world’s love for her father “who warmed our hearts”. “Since we have shared him with the world, we share the love for him together,” he said.
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