Cape Town holds a special tribute for Archbishop Desmond Tutu


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People who attended the memorial service of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town on Wednesday night say the country and the world has lost a person who cared deeply for another human being.

A memorial service organised by the city of Cape Town took place at the city hall.

Large screens were set up outside for the overflow as few were allowed inside in order to observe COVID protocols.

A voice for the voiceless, bold, courageous, a moral compass and joke teller.

These are some of the words used by those who came to share their grief with the family.

With church bells ringing throughout the city in honour of the Arch, many who came said they came to celebrate his life.

CEO of Arts Cape, Marlene le Roux says she’s lost a personal friend: “For the Arch it did not matter which background you come from, which colour of the skin you are, which language you speak, which religion, for the Arch you are just the person.”

The Premier of the Western Cape, Alan Winde urged South Africans to live by even if it’s just by one of his principles: “If we can all take a little bit of what he meant to us in our own way of living our lives, what a different world this would be, he was bold, he was courageous, he was compassionate, he was all those things rolled into one.”

Comedian Marc Lottering says he would never tell a joke about the Arch – because he told better jokes: “When I met the Arch it was at the Baxter Theatre where he was telling jokes, and what I remember he loved laughing at his own jokes, I thought that’s a great quality to have. I would never a play a joke on the Arch because he used to tell me he’s the one in the limelight so, when talking to him I would be like a kid and he would say, let me tell you how it should go … Even under these circumstances he makes our hearts smile.”

The Arch will lie in state from 7am on Thursday morning at the St Georges Cathedral.

Public viewing will be allowed from 9am until 5pm on Thursday and Friday.

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