City of Johannesburg Mayor, Dr Mpho Phalatse, has paid tribute to the late Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for living a life of servitude and speaking out against corruption.

“The Archbishop lived a life of servitude. He did not seek personal gain that is why he spoke fearlessly against the corruption that he saw on the rise in this nation like a cancer destroying everything that had labored so hard to build,” Phalatse said.

The Archbishop, who was a globally venerated theologian, anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, passed away on Sunday.

Mourners including various members of the clergy as well as residents of Soweto gathered on Wednesday in Orlando West outside Tutu’s former home to pay their respects to the Archbishop during a candlelight prayer service and wreath laying ceremony.

With South Africa being a diverse nation with different races, cultures and religious beliefs, Phalatse expressed concern at the racial polarisation in the country.

“I worry when I see racial polarisation across socio-economical lines. I worry if we are ready as a generation to start rebuilding the bridges that have been destroyed. It is my prayer that we will have the boldness to confront our reality and pledge our lives as they have done.

“Blood was shed for our liberation, for the freedoms that we enjoy today. We do not need to continue shedding blood, we have been given a strong foundation with which to build and all we need to do is to be true to that calling, to continue building these bridges and foundation. We need to demonstrate what a rainbow nation truly looks like,” she said.

Phalatse said she believes that South Africa is a gateway to the liberation of Africa and needs to be united for its own emancipation and that of Africa.

“It is my prayer that we will have the boldness to confront our realities as the Archbishop did. It is my prayer that we will stay true to our calling. Let us be faithful and let us deliver the rainbow nation that he envisioned for us.

“As we pray, let us remember the lessons that we have learned, let us not seize to read the lessons that he left us,” she said.

Reverend Peter Lenkoe said the nation has lost a pastoral leader.

“The world knows Archbishop Desmond Tutu as a profound intellectual giant. He taught us that the basis of faith and the basis of theology is love, compassion and forgiveness.

“He lived those ideals. Although he reminded us about that all the time, he also pushed us to improve ourselves academically to go as far as we could but when we reached those heights, he would come back to us and say that is not very important.

What is important is the love that you will display in your ministry, the love of Christ with which you will serve the people of God,” Likwe said.

Source: South African Government News Agency