Zuma on Dalai Lama visa: How do i know?

2011-10-03 12:50
Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma on Monday said he did not know whether the Dalai Lama's South African visa would be approved.

“The department of international relations and co-operation is dealing with it. I don’t know what will be the final thing. I don’t think that you can get a definite answer from me,” said Zuma.

He was speaking during a business breakfast in Sandton on Monday morning organised by the New Age newspaper and SABC.

The session was organised to give the president the opportunity to update the country about the progress that Zuma's administration had made since the State of the Nation address, at the start of the year.

The City Press reported the Tibetan spiritual leader would be told on Monday, and he was unlikely to be granted a visa, in order not to displease relations with China according to an unnamed source in the department.

The Dalai Lama was invited to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations, to be held this coming weekend.

He had previously applied for a visa two years ago, but was refused one.

Zuma said it was unfair for people to ask him whether the Dalai Lama would be granted a visa or not.

“I don’t know whether I should answer this question because there are departments that are dealing with. How do I know?”

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