Desmond Tutu, One Of South Africa's First Black Archbishops, Hospitalized
The former archbishop worked alongside Nelson Mandela to investigate human rights violations after the apartheid era.
December 09, 2019 at 4:16 pm
Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize recipient and South African anti-apartheid activist, has been hospitalized for a "stubborn infection," according to CNN.
The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation released a statement on Wednesday saying the activist "has been hospitalized several times over the past few years for treatment of a similar condition."
The foundation didn't release additional details about his condition.
The Sowetan Live reports he appeared "in good spirits" at the hospital.
“I found him to be in good spirits and seemingly responding well to the excellent medical care that he is receiving,” said former Cape Town archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane in a statement.
“He was as alert as ever and to me appeared to be well on the road to recovery,” Ndungane said.
Tutu has also battled prostate cancer after being diagnosed in 1997, CNN reports.
Though the activist had dreams of a medical career, in 1966 he was ordained as an Anglican priest after attending St. Peter's Theological College in Johannesburg.
He was appointed as the general secretary of the South African Council of Churches, igniting his advocacy work toward speaking up for the rights of black South Africans, according to Britannica.
In the 80s and 90s, the activist spoke against injustice during the apartheid era, denouncing white minority rule. The apartheid came to an end in 1993, and Nelson Mandela was elected as the first Black president a year later. Mandela then appointed Tutu as the chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission where the archbishop was responsible for investigating human rights violations during the apartheid era to help heal the country.
As the first Black Anglican archbishop of Cape Town and Johannesburg, he advocated for nonviolent opposition. He encouraged allies to apply economic pressure to South Africa to bring national attention to the apartheid.
While working toward moving South Africa away from the apartheid era, he held the position as chancellor of the University of the Western Cape in Bellville.
Despite retiring from the public life, he was recently seen in November welcoming the World Cup-winning South African rugby team after their return to the country. The cleric was also seen during Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's royal visit to South Africa.
Tutu received multiple awards and recognition for his opposition against apartheid in the country.
In 1984, he received the Nobel Peace Prize and continued his advocacy for peace with his foundation, working in collaboration with other organizations.
He was honored with the U.S. Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009 and an award from the Mo Ibrahim Foundation in 2012 for "speaking truth to power." He also received the Templeton Prize in 2013.