Desmond Tutu's home burgled

AFP , Thursday 8 Aug 2013

Nobel Peace Prize winner was at home with his wife when burglars struck; couple unharmed

Burglars have broken into the Cape Town home of South African peace icon Desmond Tutu, a spokesman said Thursday.

The break-in occurred overnight Tuesday-Wednesday as the archbishop emeritus and his wife Leah were at home sleeping.

The couple were unharmed.

"We can confirm that there was a break-in at the house," said Benny Gool, a spokesman for the 81-year-old Nobel Peace Prize winner. "The police are now investigating the case."

Police confirmed a burglary had taken place at a house on Tutu's street in the Milnerton area of the city, but refused to confirm the names of the victims.

"The suspect or suspects fled with small household items and are yet to be arrested," said Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut.

Burglaries are common in South Africa and are frequently accompanied by deadly violence. Many who can afford it live behind high walls, electrified fences and with panic buttons that rapidly summon heavily armed private security guards.

Tutu, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is revered for playing a pivotal role in the battle to end apartheid white minority rule. He is still regarded as the voice of South Africa's moral conscience.

Since retiring as archbishop in 2010, Tutu has remained in the public eye, criticising the ruling ANC government and berating religious intolerance toward gays.

Known for his playfulness and humour, Tutu survived an illness believed to be polio as a baby, battled tuberculosis as a teenager, and prostate cancer, with which he was diagnosed in 1997.

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