Mural of Desmond Tutu desecrated in Cape Town

September 27, 2021

The artwork was defaced with the k-word.

Over the weekend, a mural of Archbishop Desmon Tutu was desecrated by an unknown person. The artwork was defaced with the words “Ek is ‘n k—–” written on it.

The Desmond Tutu IP Trust has condemned this incident, calling it a “loathsome” act. They added that this shows exactly how much work still needs to be done in South Africa to achieve true equality and understanding for one another.

“The Arch is about to celebrate his 90th birthday. He is the grandfather of the nation, and a global symbol of peace and righteousness. Racism is a curse South Africa must escape. We have enough problems on our plate, including radical inequality in wealth and living standards still largely tracking the social, economic and environmental hierarchies of the past,” the trust’s spokesperson, Mamphela Ramphele said.

This kind of hate is not something new to the Archbishop. The trust explained that in the 1980s, during the height of South Africa’s fight against Apartheid, Tutu was regularly the target of hateful attacks, often fueled by racial tension.

“Despite the Archbishop’s consistent advocacy for non-racialism, justice, compassion and love, because of the prominence of his position in the church and the struggle, he was widely reviled in white society. If looks could kill he would have been dead many times over, he has often said.”

The trust continued: “For this hatred to be repeated, decades later, by someone scrawling, ‘Ek is ‘n k…’, on a mural of the Archbishop in central Cape Town, casts a slur on our democracy. It speaks to the work still ahead to complete the journey, his journey, to restore our humanity,” the trust went on to say.

From political corners, the GOOD party spearheaded by Patricia de Lille has called for the perpetrator to be brought to book. A spokesperson for the party said that this act goes against the very fiber of what South Africa’s modern, inclusive society is supposed to be.

So far, the investigation into finding the guilty party of parties is still underway.