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IND vs SA, 1st Test: Here’s Why South African Players Sporting Black Armband on Day 1

South Africa cricket team on Sunday took the field sporting a black coloured arm-band in order to pay tribute to Archbishop Desmond Tutu. South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Sunday the activist passed away at the age of 90, on Sunday.

Before the national anthems were played, players from both India and South Africa along with everyone in the stadium observed a minute’s silence in the memory of the world-renowned statesman. Apart from the South African team, the umpires Marais Erasmus and Adrian Holdstock were also spotted wearing black armbands.

President Ramaphosa condoled the passing away of Tutu on Twitter. “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.

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

Who was Desmond Tutu?

An uncompromising foe of apartheid South Africa’s brutal regime of oppression against the Black majority, Tutu worked tirelessly, though non-violently, for its downfall. The blunt-spoken clergyman used his pulpit as the first Black bishop of Johannesburg and later Archbishop of Cape Town as well as frequent public demonstrations to galvanize public opinion against racial inequity both at home and globally.

Tutu’s death on Sunday 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, Ramaphosa said in a statement.

From the pavements of resistance in South Africa to the pulpits of the world’s great cathedrals and places of worship, and the prestigious setting of the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, the Arch distinguished himself as a non-sectarian, inclusive champion of universal human rights.

Tutu had been hospitalized several times since 2015, after being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997. In recent years he and his wife, Leah, lived in a retirement community outside Cape Town.

A lively wit lightened Tutu’s hard-hitting messages and warmed otherwise grim protests, funerals and marches. Short, plucky, tenacious, he was a formidable force, and apartheid leaders learned not to discount his canny talent for quoting apt scriptures to harness righteous support for change.

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The Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 highlighted his stature as one of the world’s most effective champions for human rights, a responsibility he took seriously for the rest of his life.

Nicknamed the Arch, Tutu was diminutive, with an impish sense of humor, but became a towering figure in his nation’s history, comparable to fellow Nobel laureate Nelson Mandela, a prisoner during white rule who became South Africa’s first Black president.

(With Agency Inputs)

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