Fight Against Apartheid - Biography Project
Life and Accomplishments
In return to South Africa, Tutu served as the first black Secretary General of the SACC, beginning his work in the anti-apartheid movement. Spokesperson for the ant-apartheid movement, Tutu was given the Nobel Peace Prize. Later named as the archbishop of South Africa and head of the Anglican Church. Through his work, Nelson Mandela appointed Tutu as head of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in 1995, an organization created in hopes of bringing healing to oppressed South Africans and help unite the nation.
Significance to Anti-Apartheid Movement
"If you are neutral in situations of injustice you have chosen the side of the oppressor" - Desmond Tutu
Excerpts from "Desmond Tutu: speech on the question of South Africa (1984)"
"The tragedy of South Africa is that something with such a Considerable potential for resolving the burgeoning crisis of our land should have been vitiated by the exclusion of 73 percent of the population, the Overwhelming majority in the land" (1.10)
"The fact that the first qualification for membership in the chambers is racial says that this constitution was designed to entrench racism and ethnicity. The most obnoxious features of apartheid would remain untouched and unchanged" (1.11)
"But there is little freedom in this land of plenty. There is little freedom to disagree with the determinations of the authorities. There is large-scale unemployment because of the drought and the recession that has hit most of the world's economy. And it is at such a time that the authorities have increased the prices of various foodstuffs and also of rents in black townships—measures designed to hit hardest those least able to afford the additional costs. It is not surprising that all this has exacerbated an already tense and volatile situation" (1.14)
"White South Africans are not demons; they are ordinary human beings, scared human beings, many of them; who would not be, if they were outnumbered five to one? Through this lofty body I wish to appeal to my white fellow South Africans to share in building a new society, for blacks are not intent on driving whites into the sea but on claiming only their rightful place in the sun in the land of their birth" (1.19)
"I say we will be free, and we ask you: Help us, that this freedom comes for all of us in South Africa, black and white, but that it comes with the least possible violence, that it comes peacefully, that it comes soon" (1.23)