"I would have hoped ... that we would invoke the same spirit, the same passion, the same commitment to fight this pandemic as we had when we were fighting against the scourge of apartheid."— Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, in an interview on SABC television on March 24, 2002 (source).
"We have the skills, expertise and resources. So for goodness' sakes, stop fiddling."— Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, reacting to the Pretoria High Court's decisionin 2002, which compelled the government to provide Nevirapine to HIV-positive pregnant women (source). The government subsequently took the case to the Constitutional Court, where they ultimately lost. See Treatment Factsheet for more detail on this.
Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu is a former Nobel Peace Prize winner and a symbol of equality and reconciliation. He has also been an outspoken critic of the South African government’s policy on HIV/AIDS.
Tutu has been critical of the government's inaction in providing anti-retroviral treatment to South Africans. In 2002, in an article on IOL.co.za, he said South Africa had been "fiddling" over the treatment issue and "engaging in academic discussions while people are dying".
Tutu supports condom distribution despite his religious vocation and was saddened by the election of the conservative Joseph Ratzinger as Pope Benedict XVI in 2005.
"We would have hoped for someone more open to the more recent developments in the world, the whole question of the ministry of women and a more reasonable position with regards to condoms and HIV/AIDS," Tutu said in the BBC news article “Africans hail conservative Pope”.
In 1984, Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize in recognition of "the courage and heroism shown by black South Africans in their use of peaceful methods in the struggle against apartheid", according to the Nobelprize.org.
After South Africa's first multi-racial elections in 1994, Former President Nelson Mandela appointed Tutu to chair the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which investigated the human rights violations of the previous 34 years.