SADTU Statement on the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

26 December 2021

The South African Democratic Teachers’ Union (SADTU) joins all South Africans in mourning the passing away of Archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu. His name will forever remain in the annals of history for his role in fighting against the inhumane apartheid government.

A man of the cloth who was always led by his conscience to speak truth to power, Tutu used the pulpit to make known the unjust and inhumane conditions the black majority were living under exerted by the apartheid system. We have no doubt that his outspokenness is one of the many straws that broke the camel’s back and caused the Nationalist Party to relent and allow for a democratic government to be ushered in.

His support for sanctions and disinvestment against South Africa contributed to weaken the country’s economy and put it under pressure to change.

A man of strong convictions and conscience, Tutu who was a teacher before becoming a priest, resigned from the teaching profession to protest the passing of the Bantu Education Act in 1953 which was going to provide inferior education to black students and shackle them into the life of poverty

A true agent of change, he always gave hope that one day, the country would overcome. In a country that is still reeling from the after-effects of the apartheid system where many are still seeking reparation, justice and reconciliation, Tutu always believed this was possible.

As we mourn, we also celebrate a life well lived. A life that didn’t turn a blind eye to injustice, racism and inequality but faced them head-on. His life should be a lesson to all of us. We shall overcome.

We express our deepest condolences to the Tutu family, his foundation and the Anglican church. My God be with you in these trying times.

ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat


General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968

Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651

Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157