A ceremony was organized in the Gaza Strip on Monday to commemorate South Africa's anti-apartheid icon and Nobel Peace Prize winner Desmond Tutu.
Organized by the Council of International Relations, a Gaza-based NGO, the ceremony was attended by a host of Palestinian and South African figures, including South Africa’s Ambassador Shaun Edward Byneveldt.
Addressing the event via video-conference, Byneveldt said South Africa will continue to support the oppressed people living under occupation.
“Tutu was a spiritual leader who stood up against oppression and who campaigned for justice, equality and humanity,” he added.
Bassem Naim, the head of the Council of International Relations, said Tutu was the first figure to accuse Israel of pursuing a policy of apartheid against the Palestinians in 2002.
A meeting hall in Gaza was named after Tutu in recognition of his support to the Palestinian people, according to the Gaza Municipality mayor Yahya el-Sarraj.
In 2009, Tutu joined a delegation of the international NGO "the Elders" on a visit to Israel and occupied Palestinian territories to advocate for peace.
Tutu passed away at the age of 90 on December 26, 2021, leaving behind a legacy of anti-apartheid struggle and fight for peace.