Tutu remains buried amid call to rename Cape Town airport

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The remains of South African Archbishop and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu were buried during a private family service at the Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town.

CAPE TOWN, South Africa – The remains of Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu, the Anglican Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, were buried early Sunday during a private family service at the city’s Anglican cathedral.

Archbishop Thabo Makgoba placed a small box containing the remains of Tutu on the ground in front of the high altar of St. George’s Cathedral. Tutu’s widow, children, and other family members attended the 30-minute service.

Makgoba suggested that in honor of the late Nobel Laureate, Cape Town Airport should be renamed Archbishop Desmond Mpilo Tutu International Airport.

He called on all South Africans to “turn a new leaf” and engage in “the radical and revolutionary change” that Tutu has advocated.

“Let’s live as simply as he lived, exemplified by his pine coffin with rope handles,” Makgoba said in his homily. “May those of us with resources pull up our belts, may others eat enough to fill their stomachs. Let us reorganize our society to end inequalities and create equal opportunities for all.”

The box containing Tutu’s remains was placed under a memorial stone bearing the words: Desmond Mpilo Tutu, October 1931 – December 2021, Archbishop of Cape Town 1986 – 1996.

The morning service was underway as a fire swept through the nearby South African Parliament building. A cloud of smoke then hovered over the cathedral and its surroundings.

A requiem mass was held in the cathedral on Saturday for Tutu’s funeral. Church officials said Tutu’s body was prepared to be buried with water in a process called aquamation.

Tutu asked for the method because it uses less energy and is more environmentally friendly, church officials told reporters.


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