Tutu was “ahead of his time,” Nic Cheeseman, a politics professor and specialist in African politics at the University of Birmingham in Britain, said.

African leaders are paying tribute to Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu for his fearless campaign that helped end South Africa’s brutal apartheid regime and bring democracy to the country, reports the AP.

But many of the same leaders have remained silent about the late Nobel Peace Prize winner’s support for issues they’re uncomfortable with, such as his support for LGBTQ rights, democratic freedoms and environmental issues.

Revered across the continent for opposing apartheid in South Africa and helping the country’s peaceful transition to majority rule, Tutu went on to tackle some of Africa’s most thorny issues and its leaders.

He criticized South African President Thabo Mbeki for denying HIV/AIDS and preventing the government from distributing life-saving treatments. He lambasted South Africa’s next president, Jacob Zuma, for alleged corruption.

He compared a proposed law criminalizing homosexuality in Uganda to apartheid South Africa’s laws that banned inter-racial sexual relations.

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