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South Africa’s late anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu to be cremated on Jan.1

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CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFROCA: People lay flowers to in front of the St George's Cathedral as they mourn for South Africa’s anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who died Sunday at the age of 90, in Cape Town, South Africa on December 27, 2021. ( Xabiso Mkhabela - Anadolu Agency )
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Dec 28, 2021 - 12:00 PM

JOHANNESBURG (AA) – The funeral service of South Africa’s anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, who died Sunday at the age of 90, will be held on Jan. 1 in Cape Town.

The funeral will take place at St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town at 10 a.m. (0800GMT) on Saturday, Archbishop of Cape Town Thabo Makgoba told reporters on Monday.

Tutu, fondly known as the Arch, will be cremated and his ashes will be kept in the cathedral, he added.

Tutu rose to prominence in the 1980s for his strong role in opposing apartheid rule in South Africa, emphasizing nonviolent protests.

He served as the first Black Archbishop of the St. Georges Cathedral in the 1980s and won the 1984 Nobel Peace Prize.

He was the last surviving South African laureate of the Nobel Peace Prize.

Tutu was also the chairperson of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission set up by the new democratic government in 1995 to help heal and reconcile the country by unearthing human rights violations that occurred during the apartheid regime.

Makgoba urged mourners to follow the funeral on televisions at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our list of possible attendees at the funeral runs to 400-500 names and more than 100 clergymen, but the COVID-regulations restrict attendance at funerals to a maximum of 100 and we must respect that,” he said at the media briefing.

He said a series of events have been organized by various organizations to honor Tutu including interfaith service by the city of Cape Town. Anglican cathedrals across Southern Africa were also planning various services.

Several global leaders, including Pope Francis, Queen of England Elizabeth II, and US President Joe Biden, have sent condolences to the South African government and Tutu’s family following his passing.

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