ARCHBISHOP Desmond Tutu welcomed President Obama to his HIV
centre in Cape Town on Sunday, during the President's visit to
Speaking at the Desmond Tutu HIV Foundation Youth Centre,
Archbishop Tutu said that it was "a very big honour" to welcome
President Obama, "even at such a sombre time for us South
Africans", an apparent reference to the former President Nelson
Mandela, who is nearing the end of his life (
News, 28 June).
Archbishop Tutu continued: "Mr President, when you became the
first black incumbent of the White House, you don't know what you
did for our psyches. My wife sat in front of the TV with tears
running down her face as she watched the celebration with you in
Chicago. You won. And we won. And you repeated the feat when the
odds were stacked against you."
Archbishop Tutu said that he was praying for President Obama "to
be a great success. We want you to be known as having brought peace
to the world, especially to have brought an end to the anguish of
all in the Middle East."
President Obama paid tribute to the work of the HIV Centre, and
highlighted the United States' work with South Africa to tackle
AIDS. "We have the possibility of achieving an AIDS-free generation
and making sure everybody in our human family is able to enjoy
their lives and raise families, and succeed in maintaining their
health here in Africa and around the world," he said.
The Daily Telegraph reported on Monday that a spokesman
for Westminster Abbey had confirmed that discussions were taking
place with the South African High Commission about holding a
memorial service at the Abbey after Mr Mandela's death. He is being
prayed for daily at the Abbey.