SA did not deny Dalai Lama - dept

2011-10-05 13:13
Johannesburg - South Africa has not denied the Dalai Lama a visa, international relations spokesperson Clayson Monyela said on Wednesday.

He said the government was still deciding on the visa application when the Tibetan spiritual leader cancelled his trip.

"The SA government had not denied him a visa. We did not say no to him. [His application] was being considered when he decided to cancel."

He said it was difficult to say how long a decision on the application would have taken, but said a visa could take up to two months to process.

The Dalai Lama had applied for a visa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebration this weekend, but withdrew his application on Tuesday to save the South African government the "inconvenience".

He cancelled the trip because no visa had been granted to him.

Incomplete application


Monyela said the spiritual leader had admitted in a statement that his first visa application in August was incomplete.

"There was acknowledgement or admission that he only submitted his original passport on September 20... a period of roughly two weeks [ago]."

The Office of Tibet in Pretoria said last week the department had all the documentation required to make a decision on the visa.

The passport was submitted as soon as the Dalai Lama returned from a visit to South America.

Monyela said: "No government will process an incomplete [application]."

On Wednesday, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told The Star newspaper he believed a visa would have been granted if the trip had not been cancelled.

No pressure

"Of course, he has been here before. I don't see why it should be an issue at all," he was quoted as saying.

Motlanthe, who recently concluded a trip to China, denied there had been pressure from Beijing not to grant the Dalai Lama the visa.

The Dalai Lama visited South Africa on three occasions between 1996 and 2004, and met former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

In 2009, he was refused entry by the Zuma administration to attend a conference of Nobel laureates. The government said the visit would detract from preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. That decision drew sharp criticism from abroad and at home.

On Tuesday, Tutu reacted to Dalai Lama's still not having been granted a visa to visit the country, by saying South Africans would pray for the downfall of the ANC.

"We will pray as we prayed for the downfall of the apartheid government. We will pray for the downfall of a government that misrepresents us," Tutu told reporters in Cape Town.

He equated the ANC government to the "repressive and divisive" apartheid regime.

The ANC said Tutu's reaction was "unfortunate".

"They are not the same and to say ANC has gone worse... The bishop knows it well deep down his heart, mind and soul that that's a total untruth," African National Congress spokesperson Jackson Mthembu said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    international relations  |  dalai lama  |  desmond tutu  |  kgalema motlanthe  |  china  |  sa  |  tibet
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
215 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
SPONSORED CONTENT
Investment tips you need to know 2015-01-29 14:07

Ever wondered how to assess your future potential liability? Feroz Basa, Senior Portfolio Manager Old Mutual Investment Group, weighs in on all the investment tips you need to know. WATCH.

/News

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 40% on outdoor accessories!

Tents, sleeping, day packs and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Month End Madness Sale!

Save up to 60% on across a wide range of goods from books to electronics, DVDs and many more. Sale end 31 January 2015. Shop now!

Valentine’s Day gifts – 14 Feb!

Gifts to spoil him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off fragrances

Get 30% off fragrances for him and her. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off All Textbooks

Save up to 30% off an extensive range of prescribed textbooks for all major universities and FET colleges. Shop Now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Something may come back into focus. You may get a second chance to say what needs to be said. The important focus today is to not...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.