South Africa -Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s legendary anti-apartheid leader, came in front of journalists for the third time in 2021 on Saturday to cast an early ballot for local elections this week. In their Cape Town home, the Nobel Peace Prize laureate and his wife, Leah, cast their votes. As they waited for the media outside their front door, escorted by election commission agents, the pair appeared healthy and in good humor.
Tutu, who was wearing slippers and a tracksuit, stood with a walking stick, while Leah, 88, used a pulpit frame. Tutu, who was ordained at the age of 30 and became archbishop in 1986, pushed for international sanctions against white minority rule and later for worldwide human rights. He was denied the right to vote as a black South African until 1994, when Nelson Mandela won the country’s first democratic election.
In a statement, the Archbishop’s office coordinator Mamphela Ramphele stated, “They are of a generation that felt the full impact of apartheid.” “Too many funerals of struggle martyrs have been presided over by the Arch to ever take this prerogative for granted,” he continued. Tutu headed a commission probing apartheid-era human rights breaches after Mandela’s election. He has spoken out against homophobia in the Anglican Church, as well as high cabinet salaries and state-sanctioned corruption.
He retired in 2010 and rarely appears or speaks in public, earning the nickname “the Arch.” In 1997, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and has since had multiple treatments. Tutu was last seen in public on October 7th, when he celebrated his 90th birthday by attending a special church ceremony in Cape Town. He had previously been in May with his wife for Covid-19 vaccines. The couple has voted in the local elections, which will be held on November 1st.