Anti-apartheid hero Desmond Tutu is 80 years old today.
Celebrations are in full swing despite a spat between the archbishop and South Africa’s government over the absence of his friend, the Dalai Lama.
The Tibetan spiritual leader scrapped a planned visit to attend Tutu’s party after failing to receive a visa on time. Pretoria denies acting under pressure from its biggest trading partner China.
U2 singer and anti-poverty campaigner Bono serenaded Archbishop Tutu at Cape Town’s main cathedral.
Addressing the congregation, he also commented on the visa row.
“I am here, ladies and gentlemen, because I am obviously not radical enough to be denied a visa,” he said. “It used to be rock stars, not religious leaders that caused controversy, you know?”
Last week, China agreed to $2.5 billion in investment projects with South Africa during a visit by South African Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe to Beijing.