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article imageArchbishop Desmond Tutu: Outburst at book launch in Cape Town

By Anne Sewell     Sep 5, 2012 in World
Cape Town - Archbishop Desmond Tutu seems to be getting in the news a lot these days. He's had enough, and is not afraid to let everyone know.
Digital Journal reported on September 2, that Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu had called for former Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President George W. Bush to face trial at The Hague International Criminal Court for their roles in the Iraq war.
Now Tutu has shocked an audience at a book launch at the District Six museum in Cape Town, with an outburst of anger and sheer outrage about the state of South Africa today.
The book launch was for Father Michael Lapsley's autobiography "Redeeming the Past".
Father Michael Lapsley
Father Michael Lapsley
Kaihsu Tai
Lapsley, a former struggle activist and ANC chaplain, lost both hands and an eye in a letter bomb sent by apartheid authorities in 1990, three months after ANC leader Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.
While everyone at the book launch was quietly chatting, and despite being seated right behind a deputy minister and top ANC member, Tutu suddenly erupted with a raw, anguished cry, silencing the audience.
“What on earth are you doing!” Tutu cried. “I am 80-years-old. Can’t you allow us elders to go to our graves with a smile, knowing that this is a good country? Because truly - it is a good country!” Tutu pleaded emotionally.
Later Tutu took the podium at the launch and asked, "Is this the kind of freedom people were tortured and people were maimed for?"
"I ask myself, why were we in the struggle? The highest price was paid for freedom, but are we treating it as something precious?
“How can we have children 18 years later (after the dawn of democracy) who go to school under trees and whose education is being crushed without textbooks and no one is held accountable? Have we so quickly forgotten the price of freedom?"
“People are going to sleep hungry in this freedom for which people were tortured and harmed."
“It is difficult to believe people are getting such money and benefits, and are driving such flashy cars while the masses suffer in cramped shacks.”
"It's legal, but is it moral?" he asked. "Please, please, please, come to your senses."
Referring to the shootings at the Marikana mine, Tutu said they reminded him of events under apartheid.
"In 2012? In a democracy? In a new South Africa? Have we forgotten so soon? Marikana felt like a nightmare, but that is what our democracy is in 2012."
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