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Desmond Tutu celebrates 80th birthday

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Desmond Tutu celebrates 80th birthday


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.

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