Tutu’s daughter suspended after lesbian marriage leads to conflict of interest

Mpho Tutu & Marceline van Furth

Mpho Tutu & Marceline van Furth

Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s daughter, the Rev. Mpho A. Tutu, has been suspended from the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation after she married a female academic.

Tutu, the Executive Director of the organisation, married Professor Marceline van Furth in The Netherlands in December.

The relationship, however, has been seen as controversial by the foundation’s board. Not because of it being a same-sex union, but because Van Furth has been closely involved with the foundation’s affairs.

The professor is the Desmond Tutu Chair of Medicine at Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands and was reportedly a key figure in sourcing a multimillion rand Dutch grant for the organisation, reported City Press.

Tutu was asked to step down from her position while an investigation is undertaken to assess the legal, financial and ethical implications of the couple’s relationship on the foundation.

The marriage was the women’s second, with Tutu having been previously married to Joseph Burris; with whom she has two daughters.

The Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation aims to foster reconciliation, cultivate accountable leadership and advance mutual respect and tolerance among the various peoples of South Africa and the world.

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