The light pine coffin – he had asked
the cheapest possible -, simply decorated with a bouquet of white carnations, was carried in the choir by six priests in chasubles, noted journalists from the AFP.
Just before, the current Archbishop of Cape Town, Thabo Makgoba, said a prayer while others sprinkled incense around the coffin. Then the widow of the indefatigable defender of human rights, affectionately nicknamed
Mama Leah in the country, walked gently behind him in the church.
Tutu died peacefully at age 90 on Sunday. After the planetary homage, paid by the great of this world, from his friend the Dalai Lama to Pope Francis through many heads of state, it is the turn of ordinary citizens.
We came to pay homage, confides to the AFP Joan Coulson who, along with her sister, showed up early in the morning to be the first to enter the choir.I’m 70 now “,” text “:” I met him when I was 15, I’m 70 now “}}”>I met him when I was 15, I’m 70 now, she said, claiming that for her she’s a rock star
Evoking his outspokenness and his humor, she bet that he is already stirring up Heaven.
Saint-Pierre is going to tell him “well calm down, no arguments!”, she jokes.
The public will be able to visit the cathedral until 5 p.m. Initially planned for the only day of Thursday, this fiery chapel has been extended to Friday,
lest there be a rush, told the AFP Reverend Gilmore Fry in front of the Cathedral.
Because many want to greet the icon before his funeral scheduled for Saturday.
After a private cremation, the ashes of Bishop Tutu will be buried in the cathedral, of which he was archbishop for ten years until 1996.
Since Sunday, hundreds have flocked there to sign the register, leave 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, which overlooks the port city, is illuminated purple nightly in homage to
Many ceremonies, mainly religious, punctuated the week and were to continue across the country until the funeral.
That day, neither ostentatious ceremony nor lavish expenditure, the prelate had left strict instructions. Besides the bouquet offered by the family, no other flowers. Assistance should be limited to a hundred people, COVID requires.
The religious ceremony will also be an official ceremony. But the soldiers were to limit, according to the wishes of the archbishop again, their intervention to the delivery of a South African flag to his widow Leah, with whom he had married in 1955 and had four children.
The Nobel Peace Prize winner had retired from public life in recent months, weakened by his old age and cancer. After the advent of democracy in 1994 and the election of his friend Nelson Mandela, it was he who found the formula, to qualify the post-apartheid country, of
Desmond Tutu had chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) which he hoped, thanks to the confrontation of the executioners and the victims, that it would allow turning the page on racial hatred.