The African Regional Organisation of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC-Africa), has described the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu, as the fallen of a gallant soldier who relentlessly fought for social justice, human rights, freedom, peace and security for all.
In a statement made available to journalists in Abuja from its headquarters in Lome, Togo, and signed by its General Secretary, Kwasi Adu-Amankwah, ITUC-African said; “Archbishop Tutu’s death represents another loss in the passing of the generation of gallant soldiers who relentlessly fought for social justice, human rights, freedom, peace and security for all. Tutu pitched his rebukes against social injustice well beyond the borders of South Africa, often assuaging the blows with humour and warmth.
“During the darkest years of Apartheid in South Africa, Tutu’s was the voice that courageously called out the evil regime. When most of the ANC leaders were incarcerated, it was left for Tutu and others to campaign for their release and the end to apartheid.”
The statement further; “It was his “clear views and fearless stance”, which made him a “unifying symbol for all African freedom fighters”. An icon for racial justice, Tutu was the first, after Apartheid was defeated, to call for reconciliation in the new democratic dispensation.
“He understood the symbolism, virtue and value of forgiveness to national regeneration and nation-building. This understanding was built on the immutable fact that eternal enmity does not have a place in progressive society and that forgiveness should be a virtue that humanity should consciously and genuinely embrace and sustain.
“His life, philosophies and essences glowingly radiate what selflessness, courage and Ubuntu mean. As African workers, we were and will continue to be inspired by these values, his struggles and fine personality. We commit to further the struggle for social justice so that the service and sacrifices of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his other fallen comrades and our forebears will not be in vain.
“We extend our condolences to Mam Leah Tutu, the Tutu family, the board and staff of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, the government, workers and people of South Africa, the Elders and Nobel Laureate Group and his friends, comrades and associates nationally and globally.
“We thank him for bequeathing us with the values of Ubuntu, respect for human dignity, racial equality and undying commitment to social justice. We shall forever cherish these values. The Iroko tree has fallen, Africa’s moral voice is gone! Rest in Power Tata!”