President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy after the national anthem at St George’s Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town, where a requiem service was held in honour of Desmond Tutu. He then handed over the nation’s flag to the archbishop’s widow. “If Archbishop Desmond Tutu had been present, he would have remarked, ‘hey, why do you look so sad and unhappy?'” he added.
Desmond Tutu, South Africa’s last great anti-apartheid hero, was honored at a funeral in Cape Town on Saturday that was not as lavish as he had hoped, but was full of emotion and words recounting how the little man in the purple robe made history.
“Not only in his own South Africa, but around the world, the Archbishop was a champion for freedom, justice, equality, and peace. Past and current presidents, religious leaders, monarchs, legislators, political parties, musicians, artists, and ordinary people from all over the world have paid tribute to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s impact and influence. “President Cyril Ramaphosa also added his voice to the conversation.
Among the attendees at the ceremony were King Letsie III of Lesotho, the Dalai Lama’s emissary, with whom Tutu shared unforgettable laughter, and former Irish President Mary Robinson. Tutu had requested that the light pine casket in which he lay for the last two days in the cathedral, surrounded by thousands of people who had come to pay tribute to his struggles and passions, be chosen “as cheaply as possible.” To carry it, there are no gold handles, only plain rope pieces. A simple white flower bouquet sits on top.