07:06 am
24 October 2016

Archbishop Desmond Tutu in hospital for treatment of ‘persistent’ infection

The South African archbishop Desmond Tutu has been taken to hospital with an undisclosed but “persistent” infection, his foundation has said.

“Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu was admitted to a Cape Town hospital on Tuesday for treatment to a persistent infection,” according to a statement issued on Tuesday.

The 83-year-old Nobel peace laureate is expected to be discharged this week. “His family hopes he will be able to return home in a day or two,” said the statement.

The anti-apartheid activist cancelled plans last December to travel to a meeting of Nobel laureates in Rome, in order to battle prostate cancer, which he has lived with for 15 years.

In 2011 he was taken to hospital for minor elective surgery. He was in hospital again in 2013 for a persistent infection, but tests then showed no new malignancy.

Tutu survived an illness believed to be polio as a baby and battled tuberculosis as a teenager.

Under apartheid, Tutu campaigned against white minority rule during the years that Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and was awarded the 1984 Nobel peace prize for his work.

Officially retired, he still speaks out on the world’s injustices, and is widely viewed as South Africa’s “moral compass”.