Archbishop Desmond Tutu has died at the age of 90, South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed.
Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and veteran of South Africa’s struggle against white minority, passed on on Sunday.
The deceased was diagnosed with prostate cancer in the late 1990s and has in recent years been receiving treatment for infections associated with the cancer treatment.
“The passing of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa,” President Ramaphosa said.
“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal.”
In 1984, Tutu won the Nobel Peace Prize for his non-violent opposition to apartheid.
In 1994 he witnessed the end of apartheid and later chaired a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to help bring to light the evils committed during the dark days.
He will be remembered as South Africa’s moral conscience and the great reconciler of a nation divided by decades of racist politics.
The retired archbishop was a longtime friend of Nelson Mandela and lived for a time on the same street in the South African township of Soweto, Vilakazi Street, the only one in the world to host two Nobel Peace Prize winners.
The presidency did not disclose the cause of death.