DA: ‘Zuma’s ANC is selling out the country’ Philda Essop

2014-10-06 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The DA has challenged President Jacob Zuma and relevant ministers to “categorically confirm” that South Africa would have issued a visa to the Dalai Lama, if he had not cancelled his trip.

The Cape Town city council has cancelled the 14th summit for Nobel peace prize winners after other attendees followed the Dalai Lama’s example and cancelled their trips to South Africa.

The Tibetian spiritual leader cancelled his visa application when he was telephonically informed by officials from South Africa’s Department of International Relations that the government would not grant him a visa, as it would reportedly have coincided with important conferences and high-level visits between China and South Africa.

The Dalai Lama is a banned spiritiual leader in Tibet and an international symbol of resistance against China’s human rights abuses.

Dr Wilmot James, federal chairperson of the DA, said in a statement even the apartheid regime, known for its petty spitefulness, had granted Albert Luthuli, then president of the African National Congress (ANC), special permission to attend the 1961 ceremony in Oslo where he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

“In what will be an everlasting shame, the government of President Jacob Zuma’s ANC is unwilling to do the necessary to welcome a man of the stature of the Dalai Lama,” James said, adding Mac Maharaj’s “pathetic excuses” could not hide “President Zuma’s lack of independent mind and spirit to hold Communist China at bay”.

“If we continue along this path, it is only a matter of time until our politics are overwhelmed by Communist China’s neo-mercantilist interests. If directing the ANC in Parliament from Luthuli House is not vulgar enough, wait until Beijing directs our affairs in Parliament. The question is who really runs our country?” James asked. He said China was “hungry for SA’s resources” and accused “President Zuma’s ANC” of selling out the country at its citizens’ expense.

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