Tutu and Seerdof cheer Cape youth

ARCHBISHOP Emeritus Desmond Tutu yesterday sprang a wonderful surprise on the youth of Cape Town when he appeared with Dutch and AC Milan soccer great Clarence Seerdof to deliver a message of peace and inspiration.

About 200 youths marked the June 16 commemoration by attending a youth peace summit organised by the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre in Cape Town.

Wearing a Bafana Bafana jersey and a gold and green woollen hat, and at his usual cheerful best, Tutu danced and cracked jokes for the youth and told them they were "awesome".

He reminded them that "freedom was precious in this country because in 1976, the young and the old, black and white, sacrificed their lives in the fight against the apartheid government".

Tutu said when former president Nelson Mandela walked out of prison in 1990, the "whole world was amazed that we did not have a blood-bath in the country".

Tutu said the same thing had happened at independence in 1994.

However, he said that the government was "not keeping up with the expectations (of the people)".

He said despite facing many challenges such as poverty, disease and schools that did not function, the country was hosting "a successful Fifa World Cup".

Much to the cheers of the youth, Tutu said that no one should ban the vuvuzela during the tournament.

Seerdof urged the youngsters to engage in dialogue and not to "fight violence with violence in schools".

He also told them that if they wanted to succeed in life, they should "keep dreaming."

Wandisile Mkubukeli, 17, from Wynberg Boys High School said: "I'm honoured to be here, this summit will make a difference."