Anglican Archbishop Trevor Huddleston, 84, who helped put the campaign against South Africa's apartheid system on the world stage, died here April 20. He had diabetes.

Archbishop Huddleston, who spent a decade in the 1940s working in the poorest townships of Johannesburg, helped found Britain's Anti-Apartheid Movement. Other founders included such friends as Julius Nyerere, who later became president of Tanzania.

The archbishop was president of the movement from 1981 to 1994, when its mission finally came to fruition with South Africa's first all-race elections. He received a knighthood for his campaigning work in this year's British honors list.

South African President Nelson Mandela said he was deeply saddened by the archbishop's death, calling him "a great and venerable figure."

"Father Huddleston was a pillar of wisdom, humility and sacrifice to the legions of freedom fighters in the darkest moments of the struggle against apartheid," Mandela said in a statement.

South African Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Desmond Tutu said the anti-apartheid movement would never have won the worldwide attention it did without Archbishop Huddleston.

"If I had to choose one person who got the anti-apartheid movement onto the world stage, that person would be Archbishop Huddleston without a doubt," Tutu told the BBC. "The world was a better place for having had Trevor Huddleston."

Mandela said Archbishop Huddleston became a mentor to leaders in the liberation movement, who now occupy leading positions in the country's young multiracial democracy.

"At a time when identifying with the cause of equality for all South Africans was seen as the height of betrayal by the privileged, Father Huddleston embraced the downtrodden," Mandela said.

Archbishop Huddleston was born in the wealthy London district of Hampstead, but after his experiences in South Africa, he placed himself firmly on the side of the dispossessed.

His first parish was Sophiatown, a vibrant black township near Johannesburg. The district was razed under apartheid policies, the houses destroyed and the blacks forced out to make way for whites.

"I had to declare myself in fully supporting the resistance movement of the African National Congress. . . . I felt as a Christian priest that was what I had to do," he once told an interviewer.

In the 1950s, he wrote "Naught for Your Comfort," based on his time in the townships. The book helped shape world opinion against apartheid during the following decades.

Archbishop Huddleston was barred from South Africa in 1956 by apartheid leaders who recognized the political threat he posed. The ban was lifted in 1993, when the country's white leaders realized he was even more of a danger abroad than he would have been in Soweto.

The campaigning priest had taught many anti-apartheid leaders, including the late Oliver Tambo, a former president of the ANC, who became a close friend.

Archbishop Huddleston, who never married, was elected Bishop of Masasi, Tanzania, in 1960, and spent eight years there. After a stint in London in the early 1970s, he returned to his beloved Africa as Archbishop of the Indian Ocean in 1978.

"If Africa takes hold of you, that's it, you've had it. It was the physical demonstrativeness that took me, I think, the warmth -- and the gentleness," he once told an interviewer.

He returned to South Africa in 1995, intending to pass his final years there, but left after a few months. He said then that he believed he could do more good in Britain, trying to persuade people to invest in South Africa. He went to live in a retirement home, where his diabetes could be cared for.