"This article is to ascertain the truth of the contradictory perceptions which many people have of this man of God, who celebrates his 73rd birthday on October 7, 2004"
By JOEL SAVAGE
Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, is South Africa's most popular religious leader, who witnessed the atrocities, massacre, oppression and killings of South Africans, in the apartheid era, by the white minority government of South Africa. To the oppressed South Africans, Tutu is a "messiah" but to the white minority, he is a "devil", since his aim is to fight against apartheid, and bring a change in his beloved South Africa.
It is this objective, which has placed him in a centre of political storm. He is viewed by a section of the public to belong to the pulpit, rather than politics. Born October 7th, 1931, in Klerksdrop(Transvaal) in South Africa, to a school master called Zachariah and a poor woman called Aletha Matlehare, who washed clothes for a white family. Tutu married a lady by name Leah Nomalizo, and had four children with her. In the midst of political hatred, he rose from the scum society, defied all odds and emerged a unique man of God.
Desmond Tutu believes that as a man of God, he has a duty to perform, even if that will lead him to death. Through his life time, he condemned apartheid and spoke strongly against politicians, who were making his dream of liberating the oppressed South Africans to be a reality. As a minister of God, he is considered to and expected to stick to religion and leave the realms of politics to politicians.But this is something he wasn't prepared to do.
It was his condemnation against the evils of apartheid, which has led some come to conclusion that Tutu is a political priest, a subversive rather than a man of peace. As a matter of fact, there is no way a true priest, or man of God, can sit uncared, looking at the killings of innocent people and children, without any intervention. It is against this background that one has to understand that Tutu is not a politician, even though his actions and public utterances have direct political implications.