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Nobel winner Desmond Tutu plans to retire from public life

Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who was a strong force behind stepping up the campaign against apartheid in South Africa has planned to "slow down" and retire from public.



Johannesburg: Nobel peace laureate Desmond
Tutu, who was a strong force behind stepping up the campaign
against apartheid in South Africa has planned to "slow down"
and retire from public life after his 79 th birthday on
October this year.

South Africa`s first black Anglican archbishop has said,
in a statement that, "The time has now come to slow down, to
sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to
watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and
grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and
university campuses."

Tutu, who was endowed with the prestigious Nobel prize in
1984, said he would start limiting his time in the office to
one day a week until the end of February 2011 and thereafter
retire entirely from public life.

He used his position to intensify the campaign against
apartheid and also advocated sanctions against the white
government in South Africa, which was ousted from power
following the 1994 elections.

An upbeat Tutu told reporters on Thursday that he had already
retired twice, first in 1996, as the Archbishop of Cape Town,
and again after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had
been completed.

After his retirement as the Archbishop of Cape Town, Tutu
headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was formed
to hear the testimonies of people and the brutal torture they
suffered during the apartheid era.

The panel completed its work in 1998 and thereafter Tutu
joined the Emory university in Atlanta as a lecturer only
returning to his native land in 2001.

Tutu, who has previously been treated for prostate cancer
said he was enjoying good health and was "not going to keel
over any time soon."

"Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my
family reading and writing and praying and thinking too much
of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," he said,
adding, he would no longer be available for media interviews.

The Nobel Prize winner who called South Africa as
"rainbow nation of God" recently gave a speech at the opening
ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

"In a small way to the development of our new
democratic, exhilarating, exasperating nation. Thank you to my
colleagues, past and present, for doing all the work and
allowing me to take the credit," Tutu told reporters today.

During his campaign against apartheid was arrested and
his passport was confiscated a number of times. After the end
of the apartheid era Tutu was involved with a number of
organisations including the UN Advisory Committee on the
Prevention of Genocide.

Tutu was born in Klerksdorp in 1931. His father was a
teacher, and after matriculating from Johannesburg Bantu High
School, he trained as a teacher at Pretoria Bantu Normal
College. In 1954, he graduated from the University of South
Africa.

After three years as a high school teacher, he started
studying theology, and was ordained as a priest in 1960.

From 1976 to 1978 he was Bishop of Lesotho, and in 1978
became the first black General Secretary of the SA Council of
Churches. Tutu has an honorary doctorate from a number of
leading universities in the USA, Britain and Germany.

He has four children from his marriage.

PTI

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