South Africa: Desmond Tutu’s coffin arrived at Cape Town Cathedral for final tribute

The funeral for the Anglican Archbishop will take place on January 1.

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The remains of Desmond Tutu arrived at Saint George’s Cathedral in Cape Town (South Africa), Thursday, December 30, his former parish where he had long attacked the racist apartheid regime. South Africans will be able to pay homage to him for two days to the Anglican archbishop, who died last Sunday at the age of 90. The light pine coffin – he had asked “the cheapest possible”and simply decorated with a bouquet of white carnations, was carried in the choir by six priests in chasubles, AFP journalists noted.

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Since Sunday, hundreds of South Africans have flocked to the cathedral, where a register has been opened to deposit messages and bouquets of flowers. His bells ring every day at midday, for ten minutes, in his memory. Flags are at half mast across the country and Table Mountain overlooking Cape Town is lit up in purple every night in homage to “The Arch,” as it was affectionately known.

Wednesday, pSeveral members of Desmond Tutu’s family, as well as politicians and members of the public, attended the interfaith ceremony hosted by the City. During the ceremony looking like a big show with microphones and lights, the song Paradise road (The road to paradise), which in the 1980s became one of the anthems of the anti-apartheid struggle, was performed on stage.

A choir sings the South African national anthem during a ceremony in memory of Desmond Tutu on December 29, 2021 in Cape Town (South Africa).  (RODGER BOSCH / AFP)

Desmond Tutu’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday at St. George’s Cathedral. After a private cremation, his ashes will be buried in his former parish.

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