Govt must explain visa issue: SAHRC

2011-10-05 22:08

Cape Town - The government has a constitutional obligation to explain its actions in the Dalai Lama's visa application, the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) said on Wednesday.

It voiced concern over unexplained delays in processing the Tibetan spiritual leader's visa application.

"Government has a constitutional obligation to provide reasons for its actions or inaction," the SAHRC said in a statement.

"Failure to provide reasons and an explanation for its handling of this matter raises very serious concerns about a discriminatory application of its power, a lack of commitment to transparency and to enabling freedom of speech within our country."

The SAHRC asked why it was that a well-known international figure who posed no security threat and had a record held in high regard by the international community had failed to have his visa processed in an expeditious manner.

By providing an explanation, government might be able to avoid being regarded as willing to sacrifice the country's commitment to human rights values, the commission said.

The visa would have enabled the Dalai Lama to visit South Africa this week to participate in the celebration of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday.

  • marco - 2011-10-05 23:01

    You know people from the ANC are quick to say that South Africa will never have a Zimbabwe type situation in South Africa like what Mugabe has brought to his country,but looking at this visa thing with the Dalai Lama and Tutu's subsequent reaction to it all leaves me to believe that the ANC will eventually do much worse to South Africa once they finnished with it than Mugabe and other tyrants on the continent has ever done-much,much worse you wait and see.South Africa is already like other African countries in that there is only one ruling form of government for 17 years now-the ANC-in other African countries like Zim it's 30 years for Mugabe for example.Other African countries has had its evil dictators like Idi Amin Dada,Robert Mugabe,Mobutu of Congo,Gaddafi,Jean Bedel Bokassa from CAR,General Sani Abacha of Nigeria to name but a few.The ANC pretends not to be like this at all and it hides very well behind the Apartheid struggle story,Nelson Mandela's image in the world etc,but behind that cloak of respectability lies very evil intent all the way through.Greed,lust for power and control over people and what money can do for them is the ANC's main reason for living and sole objective for being in power and the sooner it will be completely expose by onlookers-not South Africans so much but by foreign governments or the media or somebody else of importance the better it be for the rest of us

  • Question All - 2011-10-06 08:31

    Why are we westerners making such a issue over a religious figure. One who belives in reincarnation and predestination. I mean, he has seen it all before. I bet that he is having a quiet giggle to himself. I also bet that the brouhaha has nothing to do with the way his visa application was dealt with or with the China syndrome (I bet that they, China, are also having a quiet giggle to themselves watching us westerners get all hot under the coller with each other.) I will put my money on the fact that it has mostly to do with going against anything the SA government and or the ruling party says or does; just becouse we can. Government bashing is afterall the flavour of the day. I bet that the media machine are enjoying all the hive of activity behind this controversy; lots of money is being made. Then again, I have never been a good gambler. But maybe, just maybe, this time my money is safe.

      daaivark - 2011-10-06 08:43

      He is much more than a mere religious figure "who believes (not belives!) in reincarnation and predestination". He is an international figure representing those who seek peace in the world. And your implied negativity regarding his particular faith is just patronising. Incidentally, don't most Calvinist branches of protestant churches embrace a doctrine involving predestination? What makes your particular religious flavour superior to that of the Dalai Lama? No emotive responses please. Let's try to stick to reason.

      letsee - 2011-10-06 09:01

      What is in question is not of Dalai Lama should have a visa but the reason why wasn't given one in time. South Africa needs a reason to decline visas and this time there was no reason other than the ANC interest in getting sponsorship from China to replace the funding lost from Gaddafi. The present ANC leaders are damaging South Africa's reputation.

      DieSkim - 2011-10-06 10:52

      @Question All: people with your line of thinking miss the bigger picture altogether. This is a question over who decides our foreign policy (China or us) and how much the constitution is worth to this government (freedom of association for example is completely violated in this instance). Why was his visa treated differently and delayed? Does this mean that our government will now target anybody they don't like, whether they qualify or not? Is this a return to a type of police state? Why wasn't he even given any response at all, surely that's just rude? Why do we side with China and its long history of human rights abuses, and shun the Dalai Lama, a man of peace? What does that say about the vision the ANC has for this country? Why has government ignored the public outcry over this issue, do our voices no longer count? Why did Kgalema attempt to deceive the public regarding the visa? I could go on. This simple visa application has far reaching consequences well beyond Tutu having a birthday present. It also reflects very negatively on us internationally, especially in countries with Western morals where freedom, individuality and courage is highly regarded. Sorry to disappoint you, but in this instance, as in many others, the government is being bashed justly.

  • daaivark - 2011-10-06 08:37

    Like our Godfathers are likely to care two hoots for something as unimportant as human rights. But jokes aside, the more pressure is piled on and the more ridicule heaped on this pack of moronic jackals the better.

  • Antwahn - 2011-10-06 10:04

    Well said Marco. It's time to frankly analyse what lurks behind the ANC's fa├žade. By now, after 17 year the following trends can be clearly seen: 1) There's increasing evidence of disregard for our human / constitutional rights within the ANC; their true nature is less and less hidden. 2) The more moderate, more reasonable voices within the ANC are stifled. Dissent is crushed or attenuated, but slowly and surely the trend is downwards. 3) The ANC will not lose it's grip on power -at all cost. 4) The result of misrule and graft will lead inevitably to drastically decreased support for the ANC. They will see a need to create an ever more oppressive climate -this will culminate in the increase of grave human rights abuses. 5) The entire set of trends is irreversible and self-feeding. The chances of a reverting to more moderate, democratic rule is very small.

  • larkforsure - 2011-10-06 10:13

    [ SOS ] Complaint with Human Rights Violations by IBM China on Centennial [ Review ] How Much IBM Can Get Away with is the Responsibility of the Media Tragedy of Labor Rights Repression in IBM China Scandal stricken IBM detained mother of ex-employee on the day of centennial

  • fireman - 2011-10-06 12:19

    What lurks beneath the ANC facade is African tribal culture. Demonstratable in almost all other African countries. The population believes that democracy is having a vote. Democracy is much more than having a vote, it is about having a choice and being able to vote for the other side. Throughout Africa we see the one party state. Human rights had a meaning during the apartheid years now watch it disappear very rapidly now that they are "chiefs".

  • Hmmm - 2011-10-06 15:20

    while Mandela was still in power, the Dalai Lama freely entered and left the country. He did not allow the Chinese to bully us. It's really funny that now we are allowing ourselves to be bullied by business partners. We have confirmed to the whole world that China controls us, we are not really in free enteprise with them. This is the darkest day in South Africa after the Apartheid Regime! Now that we have allowed this to happen, China will never again respect us. They wil demand as they wish knowing that the politicians are more interested in money than in the freedom they so feverently speak about. God help us!

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