News24

Advocates 'confident' in Dalai Lama case

2011-12-12 19:10

Cape Town - Judgment was reserved in the Western Cape High Court on Monday on whether it was constitutional for the government to bar the Dalai Lama entry into South Africa.

Judge Dennis Davis said he hoped to let the court know when he would deliver his decision before the end of the year.

The Dalai Lama cancelled his intended trip to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday on October 4.

He said he had done so to avoid inconveniencing the South African government.

The government's failure to grant the visa, however, sparked a public outcry with Tutu accusing President Jacob Zuma's administration of being "worse than the apartheid government".

The IFP and Cope subsequently filed an application in the High Court for an order declaring Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma's handling of the matter unlawful and forcing her to treat future applications by the Dalai Lama fairly.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has invited the Dalai Lama to visit him in 2012.

Anton Katz, who is arguing for the applicants, said he was confident about winning the case.

"I think we have slam dunk," he said.

A Home Affairs official, however, believed the case was "50-50".

"It's 50-50," she said. "It may even be more than that."

During arguments Davis questioned whether the application by the IFP and Cope was a "moot" issue, as the Dalai Lama had withdrawn his visa application and had not applied for another.

Davis also said the government had been faced with "difficult questions" before deciding whether to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to visit South Africa.

"What would have happened if you gave the Dalai Lama a visa and next day China said we are cancelling R3 billion of investment?" Davis asked advocate Max du Plessis, representing the Congress of the People.

"These are difficult questions for them," he said.

Comments
  • david.swan1 - 2011-12-12 19:55

    THEY DID NOT BAR HIM, HE WITHDREW HIS APPLICATION REMEMBER?? HE GREW TIRED OF THE PROCRASTINATION FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT AND THEY KNEW IF THEY STALLED IT LONG ENOUGH THERE WOULD BE NO TIME LEFT FOR HIM TO TRAVEL HERE.WHO CARES IF THEY DID NOT WANT TO UPSET CHINA TRADE IS FAR MORE IMPORTANT TO A GOVERNMENT THAN ANY SINGLE PERSON, IT DOES NOT MATTER WHO THEY ARE!!

  • Atholl - 2011-12-12 20:14

    China said we are cancelling R3 billion of investment? ... has nothing to do with a visa application ... The Constitution says that : ... administrative action (the application and the approval) .. must be lawful .. must be reasonable .... and .. must be procedurally fair So if the visa application is either: unlawful or unreasonable or not 'procedurally fair' then the visa application should (would) fail ... which (in this case) the application passed. And the 'Home Affairs' action must be : lawful And reasonable And Procedurally fair .... which if it fails on any one, then the "Home Affairs' action fails. R3bn investment has not influence at all ... in fact if the Govt/Courts protected the Constitution with vigour, the R3bn would be more like R30bn and probably not from China. ... Chinese respect people who are consistent, that's why they execute drug mules/lords at dawn.

  • Cracker - 2011-12-12 20:17

    If it is only honest trade that is the real issue - as it should be unless one of the parties really seriously goes off the rails with other issues - one would imagine that the Dalai Lama issue should never have arisen. It is trusted that the above accurately encapsulates the dilemma.

  • eradingoana - 2011-12-12 20:54

    South Africa is taking advice from China. Surely it is China's Province. They instructed the refusal of Dalai 's Visa and executed SA Citizen without being told. We are deep in Hong-Kong and China immigrants will not be arrested otherwise Zuma/Motlhanthe would be grilled when visiting our capital city, Hong Kong

  • TheWatcher - 2011-12-12 21:34

    what i love about this whole saga is that the government hid its indecision behind incompetence by procrastinating until the last possible second.

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