The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) showed that globally celebrated Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who was its chairperson, was not an infallible leader but a selfless human being with his own shortfalls.
This is according to the head of the TRC’s Investigative Unit, Advocate Dumisa Ntsebeza.
Ntsebeza lauded the archbishop for doing great work in unravelling some of the truths during the commission.
Tutu’s move to ask, without evidence, former struggle stalwart Winnie Madikizela-Mandela to apologise for the death of one of the Soweto youth, Stompie Seipei, was criticised by some.
However, Ntsebeza says his love for peace got better of him.
He says, “It revealed again that he was human being. He is one of the people who stayed at Vilakazi street, and that was the home of the Mandelas. They knew each other before the commission’s hearings. It was an appeal to him, he believed there was a case to answer.”
On Tutu’s breaking down during one of the testimonies, where a witness was revealing gruesome torture and killings of black people, Ntsebeza says this was not a sign of weakness from the commission’s leader but how gentle the Arch was.
He says, “No, I do not think it was a sign of weakness, there was an event where he displayed what people call weakness as a leader, when somebody was giving gruesome details of the way he was tortured, and that it what broke him.”
VIDEO: Former TRC Commissioner, Yasmin Sooka remembers Archbishop Tutu:
Lie in state
Meanwhile, Tutu’s body will lie in state at the St Georges Cathedral on Thursday and Friday.
Public viewing will be allowed from 09h00 – 17h00 on both days.
Strict COVID-19 protocols apply and the public is urged to observe these protocols as directed by the COVID-19 officer and ushers on duty.
President Cyril Ramaphosa says Tutu will receive a Category 1 State Funeral with religious characteristics.
Ramaphosa was one of the people who visited the Tutu family home on Monday at Milnerton in Cape Town to pay his respects.
He also addressed the media outside the home says the life of the Archbishop should be celebrated. Ramaphosa added Tutu played a huge role in promoting social cohesion in South Africa.
“Archbishop led millions of our people in the struggle against apartheid and when apartheid was defeated, he also led the process of reconciliation. And as he became concerned about some of the errors of the governing party, he spoke out. He was brave. He was forthright and we loved him just for that because he was a voice for the voiceless and he was a person who campaigned for justice.”
Ramaphosa has called on the public to take life lessons from the contributions of Archbishop Tutu.
VIDEO: President Ramaphosa visits Tutu family: