When Verum’s crystal ball brought her the news today, her face grew grim. She whispered something to Orak who immediately summoned his tempus machine. Sensing the urgency and the somber mood, Scorch and Felix, too, climbed aboard the machine.

Felix asked, “Where are we going?”

Orak answered, “South Africa. Anti-apartheid leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu passed away at the age of 90 years on Sunday. Since his death, the bells at St. George Anglican Cathedral in Cape Town, South Africa will ring every day for 10 minutes at noon for5 days.”

Verum added, “We wanted to be a part of the mourning.”

For many, many years, some people have wrongly believed that different skin colors make human beings different. And people with a certain skin color (usually white) are better than people with other skin colors (usually black or brown), and so, they deserve more rights or privileges. This belief is called racism. It is found in different parts of the world in different forms.

In South Africa, racism based on skin color became  a system of governance called ‘apartheid’. The word ‘apartheid’ means ‘apartness’ in Afrikaans, a language spoken in South Africa. The system lasted from the 1950s to the early 1990s. Under this system, the black and white population of South Africa were supposed to live separate lives in separate areas. So much so that the black population wasn’t allowed to enter restaurants meant for white people, except perhaps as staff.

That is, the nonwhite people were discriminated against as well as ill-treated. They were even tortured at times and put into prison!

Many leaders such as Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Tutu spoke out against the unjust system. But they didn’t use violent means. Instead, they peacefully criticized the system.

Tutu tirelessly participated in these protests. He was a religious leader who expressed his anger against apartheid. While many leaders, including Mandela, served prison sentences, Tutu continued fighting apartheid and comforting its victims. For his efforts, Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1984.

“And now, South Africa, as well as the entire world, mourns the death of such a fearless leader who stood up for his people’s rights,” said Verum as the Mysticals looked at the tolling bells.