Archbishop Desmond Tutu in hospital treating ‘stubborn infection’

On this day: October 7
Elke Wetzig via Wikimedia Commons
1931: Desmond Tutu, the social rights activist and retired Anglican bishop who rose to worldwide fame during the 1980s as an opponent of apartheid, is born in Klerksdorp, Western Transvaal, South Africa. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 and became the first black man to lead the Anglican Church in South Africa in 1987.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has been admitted to the hospital for the treatment of a “stubborn infection,” according to a statement by his foundation.

The 88-year-old anti-apartheid activist has been hospitalized several times over the past few years for the treatment of a similar condition, the office said in a statement on Wednesday. His foundation gave no further details about the hospital where he is receiving treatment.

Tutu, the first black archbishop of Cape Town, was last seen welcoming the World Cup-winning South African Rugby team when they returned to South Africa in November.

The human rights icon played a key role in the country’s transition from the apartheid era, including serving as chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission at the direction of then-President Nelson Mandela.

Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984 for his efforts to end apartheid and continued advocating for peace through the Desmond Tutu Peace Foundation and other organizations.

Tutu has been admitted to the hospital several times for treatment for persistent infections in recent years. He has had a long-running battle with prostate cancer, which he was first diagnosed with in 1997.