Fake news: Desmond Tutu is not dead

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

Contrary to a widely spread Twitter post, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is very much alive.

Rumours of The Arch’s demise started after a tweet from an account claiming to be that of the Bishop of Johannesburg Stephen Moreo, speaking on behalf of the Anglican Diocese.

The account was created in August and only had three tweets, but the rumour soon spread and several small news organisations started sharing posts about his passing.

However, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has taken to Twitter to release a statement condemning the fake news.

“The Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation outrightly condemns the false, irresponsible, mischievous news that has been circulated today about our Founder Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

“Archbishop Tutu is firmly with us”.

And The Arch’s son, Trevor, made it clear that not only is his father still alive, but that they have plans for lunch and beer this weekend.

“May I tell my friends that my father Desmond Mpilo Tutu remains alive, and it is my plan to have lunch with him on Sunday. I am then going to see if I can inveigle @RGRSA to buy my dad and me lots of beer when he is in this neck of the woods to celebrate his twins 22nd birthday”.

Tutu marked his 90th birthday just a few weeks ago, with a rare public appearance at a special thanksgiving service at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, where he was appointed South Africa’s first black Anglican archbishop in 1986.

The celebrations included an online lecture from the Dalai Lama, former UN rights chief Mary Robinson, activist and Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel and former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Last month, a book authored by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was a top seller at an auction to celebrate his 90th birthday, with the signed first-edition copy, the 2004 God Has a Dream, forming part of paraphernalia auctioned to honour the anti-apartheid icon.

“The leather-bound hardcover is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, is signed by the archbishop, and is number 525 of a small print run of 1,200,” the Tutu foundation said in a statement.

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