Tributes have been paid to Nobel Peace Prize laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu following his death aged 90.

Tutu, who helped end apartheid in South Africa, was announced to have died on Boxing Day.

Confirming Tutu's death, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa”.

“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead,” he tweeted.

“We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation.”

The National Wales: Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressing the Nelson Mandela Freedom Rally in Hyde Park, London. (Source: PA Wire)Archbishop Desmond Tutu addressing the Nelson Mandela Freedom Rally in Hyde Park, London. (Source: PA Wire)

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation, founded by the retired archbishop and his wife, said: “We are devastated that the Arch is no longer with us, but his passing has strengthened our resolve to spread his warmth and compassion even further afield.”

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, described Tutu as “a man of words and action”.

He tweeted: “Archbishop Desmond Tutu was a prophet and priest, a man of words and action – one who embodied the hope and joy that were the foundations of his life.

"Even in our profound sorrow we give thanks for a life so well lived. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.”

The National Wales: Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined in the singing with the 'Cor Corchion' choir at University of Wales, Cardiff, before receiving an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his human rights work. (Source: Huw Evans Agency) Archbishop Desmond Tutu joined in the singing with the 'Cor Corchion' choir at University of Wales, Cardiff, before receiving an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree for his human rights work. (Source: Huw Evans Agency)

Labour's shadow Welsh Secretary, Jo Stevens, called Tutu a "giant of South African history", while Chris Bryant, Rhondda MP, said: "A sad moment but I rejoice at such a magnificent wonderful man, whose humanity extended wider than the oceans."

 

The Hay Festival, at which Tutu gave a lecture in 2009, also paid tribute to the Archbishop.

Labour MP for the Cynon Valley, Beth Winter, emphasised Tutu's uncompromising position on human rights, and said he "symbolised peace, unity, justice & forgiveness coupled with a fighting spirit and an infectious sense of humour."

 

Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said: “Such sad news this morning … but his was a life that made the world a better place.

“Rest in peace, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.”

Additional reporting by Rebecca Wilks.

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