Nicola Sturgeon and Boris Johnson are among the world leaders paying tributes to Archbishop Desmond Tutu following his death aged 90.
The anti-apartheid campaigner died in Cape Town on Boxing Day.
Ms Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said on social media: “Such sad news this morning…but his was a life that made the world a better place. Rest in peace, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.”
Mr Johnson, the UK prime minister, paid his own tribute on Boxing Day.
He said: “I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
“He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa – and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour.”
Such sad news this morning…but his was a life that made the world a better place.
Rest in peace, Archbishop Desmond Tutu https://t.co/bZrVr5XjHP
— Nicola Sturgeon (@NicolaSturgeon) December 26, 2021
Piyushi Kotecha, chief executive of the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, and chairman Niclas Kjellstrom-Matseke said in a statement that Tutu was “a living embodiment of faith in action”.
In a statement on the foundation’s website, they added he spoke “boldly against racism, injustice, corruption and oppression, not just in apartheid South Africa but wherever in the world he saw wrongdoing, especially when it impacted the most vulnerable and voiceless in society.”
I am deeply saddened to hear of the death of Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
He was a critical figure in the fight against apartheid and in the struggle to create a new South Africa – and will be remembered for his spiritual leadership and irrepressible good humour.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) December 26, 2021
According to the trust, he died peacefully at the Oasis Frail Care Centre in Cape Town. A cause of death has not been given.
Nicknamed “The Arch”, Tutu was made the first black Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town in 1986 and was a driving force to end the policy of racial segregation and discrimination in South Africa from 1948 until the early 1990s.
His work led to him receiving numerous doctorates and academic awards from all over the world. He retired from public life in 2010 yet continued to do charity work through the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said it was “another chapter of bereavement in our nation’s farewell to a generation of outstanding South Africans who have bequeathed us a liberated South Africa.”
“Desmond Tutu was a patriot without equal; a leader of principle and pragmatism who gave meaning to the biblical insight that faith without works is dead,” he tweeted.
“We pray that Archbishop Tutu’s soul will rest in peace but that his spirit will stand sentry over the future of our nation.”
The Nelson Mandela Foundation, which highlighted the friendship between the pair, said the loss of Tutu is “immeasurable”.
“He was larger than life, and for so many in South Africa and around the world his life has been a blessing,” a statement from the charity said.