July 23, 2010

Desmond Tutu to withdraw from public life

by David Masters

Archbishop Desmond Tutu has announced plans to withdraw from public life after his 79th birthday in October.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who played a key role in the struggle against apartheid, will use his retirement as an opportunity to devote some time to himself.

“I think I have done as much as I can, and I really do need time for other things that I have wanted to do,” he told journalists at a media briefing in Cape Town.

Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for repeatedly condemning apartheid while Nelson Mandela was in prison.

Tutu also played a key role in post-apartheid South Africa, chairing the country’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

“I have been very, very fortunate to have been given opportunities to contribute in a small way to develop our new, democratic, exhilarating and sometimes exasperating nation,” he said.

“The time has come to slow down.”

He added that in his retirement he will spend more time sipping tea with his wife, watching cricket, and visiting his grandchildren.

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