South African Nobel Peace Prize laureate Desmond Tutu is to retire from public duties later this year.
A charismatic figure, the former Anglican archbishop of Cape Town used his pulpit to help bring down the racially divisive apartheid system.
Now he wants to take a back seat.
“The time has come now to slow down and sip maybe Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons. to watch cricket and rugby and soccer and tennis. To travel to visit my children and grandchildren,” he said.
Tutu’s position in the Church gave him a prominent national platform from which to criticise apartheid and he repeatedly called for equal rights.
When, 16 years ago, apartheid fell and Nelson Mandela was elected President, Tutu was appointed Chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the body charged with examining the human rights abuses of the apartheid years.
True to form he preached unity and forgiveness over revenge and recrimination.
Tutu told his resignation news conference that introducing Nelson Mandela as President of South Africa was one of the greatest moments of his life.