News / South Africa

Citizen Reporter
Reporter
2 minute read
20 Oct 2021
4:57 pm

Fake news: Desmond Tutu is not dead and he has beer plans with his son

Citizen Reporter

News of his death is fake but someone had already gone as far as updating the archbishop's Wikipedia page with his date of demise.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Picture: Carl DE SOUZA/AFP

Contrary to a widely spread Twitter post, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is very much alive, and has plans for lunch with his son this weekend.

Rumours of The Arch’s demise started after a tweet from an account claiming to be that of the Bishop of Johannesburg Stephen Moreo, speaking on behalf of the Anglican Diocese. The account was created in August and only had three tweets, but the rumour soon spread and several small news organisations started sharing posts about his passing.

Fake news regarding the death of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu
Fake news regarding the death of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

Someone even rushed to update the archbishop’s Wikipedia page.

This is why your professor's said Wikipedia is not a valid source of academic information.
This is why your professor’s said Wikipedia is not a valid source of academic information.

However, the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation has taken to Twitter to release a statement condemning the fake news.

And The Arch’s son, Trevor, made it clear that not only is his father still alive, but that they have plans for lunch and beer this weekend.

Tutu marked his 90th birthday just a few weeks ago, with a rare public appearance at a special thanksgiving service at St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town, where he was appointed South Africa’s first black Anglican archbishop in 1986.

The celebrations included an online lecture from the Dalai Lama, former UN rights chief Mary Robinson, activist and Nelson Mandela’s widow Graca Machel and former public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Last month, a book authored by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate was a top seller at an auction to celebrate his 90th birthday, with the signed first-edition copy, the 2004 God Has a Dream, forming part of paraphernalia auctioned to honour the anti-apartheid icon.

“The leather-bound hardcover is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity, is signed by the archbishop, and is number 525 of a small print run of 1,200,” the Tutu foundation said in a statement.

The auction fetched R3.5 million, which was channelled to the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation.