South Africa’s spiritual father Archbishop Desmond Tutu, was put to rest in the Cape Town cathedral at daybreak on Sunday (Jan 2), where he previously spoke against the harsh white-minority system.
Tutu, the Nobel Peace Prize recipient, died a week ago at the age of 90, after a life dedicated to battling injustice.
An Anglican Church announcement said his ashes were “interred at St George’s Cathedral in a private family service early today.”
Archbishop Thabo Makgoba buried his remains before the high altar, behind an etched memorial stone.
He encouraged South Africans to “take advantage of this opportunity to start over.”
Makgoba said: “Let us commit ourselves… to the radical, the revolutionary change that he advocated, Let us live as simply as he lived, exemplified by his pine coffin with rope handles.”
Tutu’s family, led by his widow “Mama Leah,” numbered around 20 people.
Tutu, who was known for his modest and he had requested a basic, little if any funeral with a low-cost casket, accompanied by an eco-friendly flameless cremation (aquamation).
On Saturday, family, friends, clergy, and politicians gathered for a requiem mass, which was led by President Cyril Ramaphosa.
“Our departed father was a crusader in the struggle for freedom, for justice, for equality and for peace, not just in South Africa… but around the world as well,” said Ramaphosa.
“While our beloved (Nelson Mandela) was the father of our democracy, Archbishop Tutu was the spiritual father of our new nation”, lauding him as “our moral compass and national conscience”.