Allow Dalai Lama to come to SA - De Klerk

2011-09-16 19:00
Johannesburg - Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama should be allowed to come to South Africa, former president FW De Klerk said on Friday.

"South Africa must decide on two things, is it an open society and secondly does it really respect religious figures?," De Klerk said in Johannesburg.

"In an open society he should be allowed to come."

He said the Dalai Lama was a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and there was no justification for not granting him a visa.

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu has invited the Dalai Lama, who was refused entry into the country two years ago, to his 80th birthday celebrations in Cape Town on October 7.

Tutu warned that the government would "shoot itself in the foot" by again refusing his fellow Nobel Peace laureate entry into South Africa.

On Tuesday, International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said South Africa was mulling the visa application by the Dalai Lama.

In 2009, South Africa barred the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader from visiting the country to attend a peace conference, for fear of jeopardising ties with China, a key trade partner.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet during a failed uprising in 1959.

He accepts Chinese rule, but Beijing accuses him of being a separatist and opposes his regular meetings with foreign leaders.

Read more on:    maite nkoana-mashabane  |  desmond tutu  |  fw de klerk  |  dalai lama  |  tibet  |  china  |  politics

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Prince George the green prince?

Prince Charles hopes his grandson's love of the outdoors will become a passion for the environment.



One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa
China's air pollution at doomsday levels
Keep food fresher for longer
Hurricanes, earthquakes and floods – What climate change really means for us

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly


The pace may be slow today and you may struggle to get things off the ground level, but it is important to focus on the more

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


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 network.


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.