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Moving tributes at Desmond Tutu's funeral

Reverend Michael Nuttall speaks during the state funeral of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at St George's Cathedral.
Reverend Michael Nuttall speaks during the state funeral of the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at St George's Cathedral.
Image: Jaco Marais/Pool via REUTERS

Retired Bishop of Natal Rev Michael Nuttall was overcome by emotion as he gave a moving tribute to the late Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu at his funeral on Saturday morning at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.

“His faith was authentic, not counterfeit or halfhearted. He lived it, even at great cost to himself, with an inclusive, all-embracing love,” Nuttall said.

He said he and Tutu became friends at “a truly critical time in the life of our country from 1989—1996” when Tutu was Archbishop of Cape Town and he was his deputy.

“I was asked during a pastoral visit we made to Jerusalem what this cumbersome ecclesiastical title meant. My answer, on the spur of the moment, was that it meant 'number two to Tutu',” said Nuttal.

He explained the values Tutu stood for: “What does the Lord require of you but to pursue justice, to love kindness and to walk humbly with your God?”

Leah Tutu, wife of late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Lesotho's King Letsie attend the state funeral of late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.
Leah Tutu, wife of late Archbishop Desmond Tutu, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, and Lesotho's King Letsie attend the state funeral of late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu at St George's Cathedral in Cape Town.
Image: Jaco Marais/Pool via REUTERS
A general view of the St George's Cathedral during the state funeral of late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa, January 1, 2022. Jaco Marais/Pool via REUTERS
A general view of the St George's Cathedral during the state funeral of late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in Cape Town, South Africa, January 1, 2022. Jaco Marais/Pool via REUTERS
Image: Jaco Marais/Pool via REUTERS

President Ramaphosa was among those attending the funeral. Others in attendance included former president Thabo Mbeki and his wife Zanele, acting chief justice Raymond Zondo, businessman Patrice Motsepe, deputy president David Mabuza, Cape Town mayor Geordin Hill-Lewis, Western Cape premier Alan Winde and struggle activist Cheryl Carolus.

Leah could be seen bowing down covering her face with her hands and being comforted by an elderly woman seated next to her

 Ramaphosa delivered the eulogy.

“Desmond was not on some crusade of personal aggrandisement or egotism, though he often and disarmingly admitted that he loved to be loved, and what is wrong with that?” said Nuttall.

“When my wife of 57 years died on All Souls Day in 2016 he was on the phone to me, despite great physical frailty, to comfort me and to offer, as he would say, a little prayer from the heart.”

Nuttall had to pause for a few seconds as he was overcome with emotion.

TimesLIVE


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