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President Cyril Ramaphosa has, as a mark of deep respect, declared that the late Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Mpilo Tutu be accorded a Special Official Funeral –Category 1.
The Archbishop, who was a globally venerated theologian, anti-apartheid campaigner and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, passed away on Sunday, 26 December 2021 at the age of 90.
Minister in the Presidency Mondli Gungubele said the Special Official Funeral will take place in St George’s Cathedral, Cape Town, on New Year’s Day, Saturday, 1 January 2022.Tutu was the first black cleric to be elected as the Bishop of Johannesburg before being inaugurated in 1986 as the first black cleric to become Archbishop of Cape Town.
“In recognition of the late Archbishop Emeritus’ distinguished life and invaluable contribution to the nation, President Ramaphosa has designated the late leader’s funeral as a Special Official Funeral – Category 1.This designation is enabled by the State, Official and Provincial Official Funeral Policy Manual.”
The distinguishing features of a Special Official Funeral – Category 1 include ceremonial elements by the South African National Defence Force. “On this particular occasion and based on the late Archbishop’s wishes, the SANDF ceremonial content will be limited to the handing over of the National Flag to Mam Leah Tutu.”
As part of this funeral designation, the National Flag will be half-masted throughout the country and at South African diplomatic missions worldwide from sunset today, 28 December 2021 until the evening of the funeral. The funeral will be held in compliance with the provisions of the COVID-19 health regulations that apply under Adjusted Alert Level 1 of the national state of disaster.