Members of the public can pay their last respects to Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu as his body lies in state at the St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town.

The body of Archbishop Tutu will lie in state on Thursday and Friday, ahead of his funeral this weekend.

He passed away on Sunday, 26 December 2021, aged 90, after a long illness. He will be laid to rest on Saturday, 1 January 2022 at his former parish, St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town.

In recognition of the late Archbishop Emeritus’s distinguished life and invaluable contribution to the nation, President Ramaphosa has designated the late leader’s funeral as a Special Official Funeral – Category 1.

This designation is enabled by the State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy Manual.

Desmond Tutu was the first black cleric to be elected as the Bishop of Johannesburg before being inaugurated in 1986 as the first black cleric to become Archbishop of Cape Town.

He also served as the General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) and as chairperson of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

The distinguishing features of a Special Official Funeral – Category 1 include ceremonial elements by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF).

On this particular occasion and based on the late Archbishop’s wishes, the SANDF ceremonial content will be limited to the handing over of the National Flag to Mama Leah Tutu.

As part of this funeral designation, the National Flag has been flown at half-mast throughout the country and at South African diplomatic missions worldwide as of sunset 28 December 2022 and will continue until the evening of the funeral.

The funeral will be held in compliance with the provisions of the COVID-19 health regulations that apply under Adjusted Alert Level 1 of the national state of disaster.

Source: South African Government News Agency