President Cyril Ramaphosa has extended his warmest congratulations to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu who is celebrating his 89th birthday on Wednesday.

In a statement, Ramaphosa says, “Archbishop Tutu is a national treasure and global icon of moral consistency, spiritual virtue and the defence of the most vulnerable people not only in South Africa but around the world.”

He adds, “Today we are united in celebrating the passing of another year in which we have benefited from the Archbishop’s wisdom, the bravery of his conviction in fighting for human rights, the warmth of his love for all South Africans and his care for humanity. I wish Archbishop Tutu a very happy birthday in the company of Mama Leah, the family and colleagues in the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation.”


Tutu’s birthday will coincide with the 10th Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture in which various climate activists will participate in the online lecture on Wednesday evening.

South African environmental activist Ayakha Melithafa, Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate and  Christiana Figueres, a diplomat from Costa Rica, will deliver the lecture.

Various global and South African leaders of society are expected to send recorded birthday messages for the Nobel peace laureate.