Nobel winner Desmond Tutu plans to retire from public life | world | Hindustan Times
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Nobel winner Desmond Tutu plans to retire from public life

world Updated: Jul 22, 2010 21:03 IST

PTI
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Nobel peace laureate Desmond Tutu, who was a strong force behind stepping up the campaign against apartheid in South Africa has planned to "slow down" and retire from public life after his 79 th birthday on October this year.

South Africa's first black Anglican archbishop has said, in a statement that, "The time has now come to slow down, to sip Rooibos tea with my beloved wife in the afternoons, to watch cricket, to travel to visit my children and grandchildren, rather than to conferences and conventions and university campuses."

Tutu, who was endowed with the prestigious Nobel prize in 1984, said he would start limiting his time in the office to one day a week until the end of February 2011 and thereafter retire entirely from public life.

He used his position to intensify the campaign against apartheid and also advocated sanctions against the white government in South Africa, which was ousted from power following the 1994 elections.

An upbeat Tutu told reporters today that he had already retired twice, first in 1996, as the Archbishop of Cape Town, and again after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission had been completed.

After his retirement as the Archbishop of Cape Town, Tutu headed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission that was formed to hear the testimonies of people and the brutal torture they suffered during the apartheid era.

The panel completed its work in 1998 and thereafter Tutu joined the Emory university in Atlanta as a lecturer only returning to his native land in 2001.

Tutu, who has previously been treated for prostate cancer said he was enjoying good health and was "not going to keel over any time soon."

"Instead of growing old gracefully, at home with my family reading and writing and praying and thinking too much of my time has been spent at airports and in hotels," he said, adding, he would no longer be available for media interviews.

The Nobel Prize winner who called South Africa as "rainbow nation of God" recently gave a speech at the opening ceremony of the FIFA World Cup in South Africa.