Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
- Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s statue will be on display at the balcony of his foundation’s headquarters.
- His foundation says the statue will be on display until a ceasefire is accomplished in Gaza.
- South Africa presented its case at the UN’s top cop in The Hague on Thursday calling for Israel to “immediately suspend” its military operations in Gaza.
A statue of Archbishop Desmond Tutu wearing a Palestinian scarf will be put up in Cape Town from Friday to symbolise his decades-long work championing justice for Palestinians, his foundation said.
The late Nobel peace laureate’s “life-size statue” will be temporarily on show “until the bombing of Gaza stops”, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said on Thursday.
“He was an outspoken critic of the State of Israel’s policies and treatment of Palestine and Palestinians, which he likened to the policies and actions of apartheid South Africa,” the foundation said.
The announcement comes as lawyers for Pretoria present their case at the UN’s top court in The Hague after the country lodged an urgent appeal to force Israel to “immediately suspend” military operations in Gaza.
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The ANC has long been a vocal supporter of the Palestinian cause.
The country has cut off diplomatic ties with Israel over its response to the deadly 7 October Hamas attacks.
Tutu’s statue will be on display on the balcony of his foundation’s headquarters.
The 200-year-old site in central Cape Town, known as Old Granary Building, was rescued by Tutu after falling in disrepair, having previously housed a court and post office.
Tutu visited both Israel and Gaza “on a number of occasions, including as an emissary of the United Nations” his foundation said in a joint statement with the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Intellectual Property Trust.
The peace icon “fervently believed that the greatest beneficiaries of a just dispensation for Palestine, besides Palestinians, themselves, would be the citizens of Israel,” they added.
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Hamas militants stormed across the Gaza border into Israel in an unprecedented attack on 7 October which left some 1 140 people dead, mostly civilians, according to an AFP tally based on official Israeli figures.
Israel has vowed to eradicate Hamas and kept up a relentless bombing of Gaza, which the Hamas-run health ministry says has killed at least 23 469 people, mostly civilians.
The Anglican archbishop emeritus, who died in 2021 aged 90, was regarded as a moral beacon in South Africa and was involved in numerous diplomatic peace efforts around the globe.