The Guardian‘s David Smith reports that Archbishop Desmond Tutu surprised audience members by crying out during the launch of Redeeming the Past that was held at the District Six Museum on Monday 3 September.
According to his spokesperson, Tutu shouted out “What the heck are you doing?” with regards to the current state of South Africa. When it was Tutu’s turn to deliver the keynote address, he decried politicians for failing schools and being greedy and lamented the recent shooting at Lonmin.
Redeeming the Past by Michael Laspley and Stephen Karakashian is about Laspley’s journey to forgiveness and reconciliation after he lost both his hands and an eye due to a letter bomb. The bomb is suspected to have come from the apartheid secret police. Tutu referenced Laspley’s sacrifices for the struggle in his speech, asking if this was the kind of freedom that people were tortured and maimed for:
It was a cry, raw and anguished, that pierced the convivial party atmosphere and laid bare the sense of anomie gnawing away at South Africa.
The archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu had an emotional outburst on Monday night as he castigated politicians for greed, failing schools and the “nightmare” of the Marikana mine massacre. His impromptu speech shocked guests at a book launch in Cape Town, according to local media reports, which said a “chatty audience” including senior government officials was immediately silenced.
- Redeeming the Past by Michael Laspley and Stephen Karakashian
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