Mourners pay respects to South Africa’s anti-apartheid hero Tutu

By Wendell Roelf*

South Africans pay respects to late anti-apartheid hero Tutu

CAPE TOWN (Reuters) -Hundreds of mourners queued on Thursday to pay their respects to Archbishop Desmond Tutu whose body lay in state at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town where the anti-apartheid hero preached against racial injustice.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace prize winner widely revered across racial and cultural divides for his moral rectitude and principled fight against white minority rule, died on Sunday aged 90.

His death represents a huge loss for South Africa, where many called him as “Tata” – father. Since Sunday, church bells have been rung every day in his honour and tributes and prayers have poured in from around the world.

Tutu will lie in state at the cathedral on Thursday and Friday, ahead of a requiem mass funeral service on Saturday where President Cyril Ramaphosa was expected to deliver the main eulogy.

“I am basically just here to pay my respects,” said Randall Ortel, a medical doctor and one of the first members of the public in line to enter the church. “He is definitely one of my role models and I want to emulate what he has done in his life,” he said.

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