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Last Updated: Saturday, 7 October 2006, 07:40 GMT 08:40 UK
'Powder keg' in S Africa - Tutu
Archbishop Tutu at the Homeless World Cup, Cape Town, 29/9/2006
Archbishop Tutu has been feted for weeks leading to his 75th birthday
Nobel peace prize winner Desmond Tutu has warned that South African poverty could lead to social unrest.

In a BBC interview to mark his 75th birthday, the former Archbishop of Cape Town said those who had not benefited from the end of apartheid would demand their share of the "freedom dividend".

Archbishop Tutu played a prominent role in the campaign to end apartheid.

In the past several weeks he has given a series of warnings about the dangers South Africa faces.

Violent robbery

In an interview with the BBC's Alan Little, he said South Africa faces a new moral crisis in the shape of violent crime.

"People have turned freedom into licence," Archbishop Tutu said, "and forget that freedom has its obverse - responsibility and obligation".

People have turned freedom into licence and forget that freedom has its obverse - responsibility and obligation
Desmond Tutu
Former Archbishop of Cape Town

Referring to the violent robbery of a van transporting cash, in which the guards had been burned alive, he said: "You have to ask why, when you have got your loot you have to gratuitously kill. There must be something that has happened to us."

In a speech last week Archbishop Tutu blamed the apartheid system of racial segregation, which ended 12 years ago, for damaging South Africans' moral sense.

'Powder keg'

But he has not spared the country's current leaders. He opposes ex-Vice President Jacob Zuma becoming president due to his "moral failings".

Mr Zuma's presidential aspirations received a major boost earlier this month after corruption charges were dropped against him. He was acquitted earlier this year on a rape charge.

And Mr Tutu told one audience the country was "sitting on a powder keg" because the gap between rich and poor is widening and some of the very rich are now black.

"We need to be very careful that the poor don't begin to say 'where is the freedom dividend?'" he said.

"I am very surprised that it has taken them so long to vent their anger and their impatience."

Archbishop Tutu speaks about the dangers facing South Africa

Country profile: South Africa
20 Sep 06 |  Country profiles

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