Archbishop Desmond Tutu. CC image courtesy of Raymond - Raimond Spekking.
Naledi Pandor, minister of home affairs in South Africa, handed Tutu a brown envelope containing his smart ID card.
Upon opening it and examining it, he burst out laughing, according to a report by the Citizen.
“This is the card and yes, it’s got my mother’s nose. I think Zapiro (famous South African cartoonist) would probably be quite happy,” Tutu said.
“When you contrast this with the dompas (an apartheid identity passbook), you realise actually just how far we have travelled and the great honour that you give me to bring mine.”
Tutu was reportedly surprised at how light the smart ID card was while holding it.
Pandor said she asked various leaders in South Africa to be the “pioneering guinea pigs” for the new smart ID cards, set to replace the green bar-coded ID books in future.
Nelson Mandela was the first to receive his smart ID card.
Furthermore, leaders such as president Jacob Zuma, Graca Machel and former presidents Thabo Mbeki and Frederik Willem (FW) de Klerk, have received theirs.