Top ranking ANC officials gather at Tutu home to pay respects to family

Although Tutu was never formally aligned to any political party, he did play a big role in echoing the values of those trying to bring apartheid to an end.

Desmond Tutu said he owed everything he is to his wife Leah during the couple's 60th anniversary celebration at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town on 2 July 2015. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Top ranking members of the ANC, including Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Naledi Pandor, were gathering at the Cape Town home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu to pay their respects to the family.

Although Tutu was never formally aligned to any political party, he did play a big role in echoing the values of those trying to bring apartheid to an end.

Spokesperson Sifiso Mtsweni said his contribution was invaluable, especially during the height of oppression in the 1980s.

"It is at that time that the Archbishop really played a very critical role, fighting against the system, being a moral and towering voice that spoke out against injustice. He was an upstanding citizen of our country and of course a Nobel Peace Prize laureate alongside Nelson Mandela and FW de Klerk."

Delegates have been in close contact with the family.

Mtsweni said on Monday they want to show their deep appreciation for Tutu and his loved ones.