Ramaphosa hails Tutu's humanity as peace icon celebrates 90th birthday

The president has praised Tutu for his role as a fighter in the cause of human rights, equality and social justice.

FILE: Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Picture: tutu.org.za

CAPE TOWN - The president has wished one of the nation's favourite fathers a very happy 90th birthday.

Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu celebrates his 90th on Thursday and President Cyril Ramaphosa has added his wishes to those streaming in from across the globe.

Ramaphosa has wished the globally renowned Anglican Archbishop Emeritus, 1984 Nobel Peace Prize laureate and chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission a happy birthday.

The president has praised Tutu for his role as a fighter in the cause of human rights, equality and social justice.

Acting presidential spokesperson Tyrone Seale: "You will continue to remind us that fellowship, solidarity, charity and compassion for the vulnerable are values common to us all and we should strive to live by them each day."

Seale said that the president acknowledged the moral and ethical guidance that the archbishop had provided to the nation after liberation.

"The president expresses his deep regard to Archbishop Tutu for a life well lived in honesty, integrity, fearlessness and service to humanity in South Africa and globally."

Tutu and his wife Leah will attend a special service at the St Georges Cathedral in Cape Town and spend the rest of the day surrounded by family.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.