As instructed before he died, the late Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s remains are lying in state “in a plain wooden coffin with rope handles” at his former St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town on Thursday.
“The Arch made it clear that he wanted the cheapest coffin available,” the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation said.
According to the programme, Tutu will be at the cathedral until Friday, with his funeral service to be held at the same church on Saturday.
On arrival at the cathedral, Tutu’s daughter, Thandeka, dressed in black but wearing a bright yellow headdress, wept as she alighted from the vehicle carrying her father’s remains to be greeted by Thabo Makgoba, the current Archbishop of the St George’s Cathedral.
She then embraced the dean of St George's Cathedral, the Rt. Rev. Michael Weeder, before walking behind her father’s coffin – carried by six priests – into the cathedral.
Meanwhile, there were long lines outside the church waiting to enter it to pay their last respects to the man who was instrumental in leading the struggle against apartheid till the country disbanded the white minority regime in 1994, with Nelson Mandela as the first black president in that year.
He died on Sunday at the age of 90 following his own two-decades battle against prostate cancer in 1997.
Tutu, aged 90, leaves behind a wife, Leah, and four children.