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Retired Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu speaks at the memorial service for former South African president Nelson Mandela on Tuesday.

Burglars hit Desmond Tutu’s home during Mandela trip

JOHANNESBURG – Retired Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s home was robbed while he was away to attend the memorial honoring Nelson Mandela, police said Wednesday, marking the third time in recent years thieves have targeted him.

Robbers hit Tutu’s home in Cape Town Tuesday after nightfall – the same day the Nobel Peace Prize laureate spoke at the memorial service honoring his fellow anti-apartheid fighter Mandela in Johannesburg.

No arrests had been made so far, a police statement said. It provided no further details, citing the ongoing investigation.

Tutu’s spokesman, Roger Friedman, confirmed the robbery. Tutu and his wife couldn’t immediately establish what had been stolen, he said.

Tutu campaigned against white minority rule in South Africa. The 82-year-old was a close friend of Mandela, who died Dec. 5 at age 95. Tutu chaired South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which aimed at exposing the full horrors of apartheid and help the country heal the wounds of its violent past.

Burglaries are not rare in South Africa, where many homes feature barred windows and electric fencing.

In August, robbers broke into Tutu’s Cape Town home while he and his wife Leah were sleeping. The two weren’t harmed. In 2007, thieves broke into his home in Johannesburg’s Soweto township and stole, among other things, his Nobel Prize medal. Police later recovered it.

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