Ramaphosa: Tutu's faith in humanity and in people was unwavering

President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, saying that not only has South Africa lost one of its finest patriots but we as a nation have lost one of the most courageous and beloved among us.

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

JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa has paid tribute to the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, saying that not only has South Africa lost one of its finest patriots but we as a nation have lost one of the most courageous and beloved among us.

The president addressed the nation on live television on Sunday night just hours after it emerged that Tutu had died peacefully in Cape Town at the age of 90.

"In this season of cheer and goodwill, at a time when many people are celebrating with family and friends, we have lost one of the most illustrious, courageous and beloved amongst us," President Ramaphosa said.

GALLERY: The life of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu

Ramaphosa said that Tutu was a man of unwavering courage.

"In his ministry, in his struggle against apartheid and as chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission he saw the depths to which human beings could descend in the subjugation and oppression of others and yet his faith in humanity and in people, like his faith in God, was unwavering," Ramaphosa said.

The president said that Tutu touched countless lives both here in South Africa and abroad over his many decades of service.

"We are comforted in the knowledge that he has left an indelible mark on the lives of millions of people who had the privilege and honour of knowing him. Like many of his time, he was a witness to the gravest of injustices and most intolerable cruelty that our country has witnessed," the president said.

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