Archbishop Tutu led TRC with integrity, dignity and humility: Cyril Ramaphosa

President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted Tutu’s role in the TRC while delivering a eulogy at his funeral.

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CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa says the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu led the truth and reconciliation process with integrity, dignity and humility.

The president highlighted Tutu’s role in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) while delivering a eulogy at his funeral at the St. George’s Cathedral in Cape Town on Saturday.

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South Africa’s new parliament passed a law authorising the formation of the TRC in July 1995.

The commission, chaired by Tutu at former president Nelson Mandela's request, was appointed in December 1995 to promote re-conciliation and forgiveness among perpetrators and victims of apartheid.

Ramaphosa referred to a famous image of Tutu taken in 1996 during the hearings.

“His head bent over folded arms, his shoulders weighed down by the tragedy and the unspeakable cruelty that was being told of the apartheid crime. Overcome with emotion of what he had just heard, Archbishop Desmond Tutu dropped his head in his hands and wept.”

Ramaphosa said the TRC just heard heart-rending testimony from veteran activist Singqokwana Malgas about how he was tortured by security police so brutally that he was confined to a wheelchair.

“These photographs speak not only of the strength of his convictions but to how deeply he felt the anguish and the suffering inflicted by others who were perpetrators of injustice and intolerance.”

Ramaphosa said, for Tutu, opposing injustice, standing up for the oppressed and defying unjust laws were God’s work.