Saturday, January 1, 2021
The funeral mass for South African anti-apartheid campaigner Archbishop Desmond Tutu is set to take place on Saturday morning in Cape Town.
Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize winner who helped end the racist regime in South Africa, died last Sunday aged 90.
His death prompted an outpouring of grief among South Africans.
Thousands have paid their respects at St George’s Cathedral where his body has been lying in state in a simple casket.
Tutu was one of the driving forces behind the movement to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination enforced by the white minority government against the black majority in South Africa from 1948 until 1991.
He will be given an official state funeral with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa expected to deliver the main eulogy.
He also said the only flowers in the cathedral should be a “bouquet of carnations from his family”, according to the Archbishop Tutu IP Trust and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
His ashes are to be interred behind the pulpit at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town – the Anglican diocese he served as Archbishop for 35 years.
It was earlier revealed that Tutu is to be aquamated – a process using water that is described as an environmentally friendly alternative to cremation.
Many people in Cape Town turned up to file past the archbishop’s coffin as it lay in state.
One man, Wally Mdluli, hitchhiked more than 1,000km (620 miles) across the country from Bloemfontein to Cape Town – enlisting the help of family and friends to pay for some of the trip and even sleeping at a petrol station on the way.