ANC wants to 'engage' with Desmond Tutu

2011-10-07 08:07

Johannesburg - The ruling party was planning to "engage" with Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu after his angry attack on the ANC this week, according to a report on Friday.

The ANC would "find the time and space to meet Tutu and engage him about the issues surrounding the visa debacle and his comments", said Lindiwe Zulu, who is President Jacob Zuma's special adviser on international relations.

She was quoted in the Mail & Guardian as saying: "We want to find out from him if this is about the Dalai Lama or something much more than this."

President Jacob Zuma and Cabinet ministers were hurt and "disturbed" by Tutu's comments, she said, and the ANC found it "unacceptable that he could equate this government to the apartheid regime, which was racist, oppressive and committed crimes against humanity".

Visa not denied

Zulu insisted that "not once did the government ever say we are not issuing the visa".

"The government has a right to process visas and raise questions if there are issues with the application.

"But, I repeat, we never said we are not giving the Dalai Lama the visa."

Earlier this week, Tutu said he would pray for the downfall of the ANC.

This was after the Tibetan spiritual leader cancelled a planned trip to South Africa to attend Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations, because he had received no word about his visa application.

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