President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his role in the fight for human rights, equality as well as social justice as he celebrates his 90th birthday.

In a written message to the Arch, Ramaphosa says Tutu has been a constant voice of conscience to the government for nearly three decades, guiding it to improve the lives of the people of South Africa.

Acting Presidential spokesperson, Tyrone Seale says, “The president expresses his deep regard to Archbishop Tutu for a life that has been well-lived in honesty, integrity, fearlessness and service to humanity in South Africa and globally. The president also acknowledges the moral and ethical guidance Archbishop Tutu has provided to the nation after liberation.”

Non-racialism

Western Cape Premier, Alan Winde, has urged residents of the province to use Tutu’s 90th birthday to commit to the values that he stands for.

These are non-racialism, justice, compassion and love.

The Arch is expected to attend a special thanksgiving service at St George’s Cathedral before spending the day at home with close family.

Winde has encouraged everyone to join him in wishing Tutu a happy birthday.

“What an honour to be able to give the Arch Emeritus Desmond Tutu a birthday wish today. It’s an opportunity to say thank you very much for all you have done for us in this beautiful country South Africa and its amazing people.”

“Thank you for fighting against Apartheid and fighting for justice, freedom and peace in our country. Thank you also just the other day for leading our vaccine programme here in the Western Cape. Thank you for being you,” he adds. . We hope that his day is filled with love & joy. We encourage residents to celebrate his life by following in his footsteps. Happy Birthday, Arch! pic.twitter.com/WFkjMbcmmk

‘Blessing from God’

The Congress of the People (COPE) has described Tutu’s 90th birthday as a blessing from God.

Party spokesperson Dennis Bloem has on behalf of COPE joined those that are wishing the Arch a happy birthday.

“COPE celebrates this special day with Archbishop Desmond Tutu. It is Blessings from the Almighty that Archbishop Tutu can celebrate his 90th Birthday today. Our wish for Bishop Tutu is that  God Bless him with abundance of health. We wish Archbishop Tutu a very Happy 90th Birthday. Hepeeee Bishop Tutu Hepeeee!!! God Bless you.”

Below are birthday wishes on Twitter:

Additional reporting by Mercedes Besent.