Leave granted to appeal Dalai Lama ruling

2012-03-19 21:07

Johannesburg - The IFP and Cope were on Monday granted leave to appeal against a judgment dismissing a bid to have the government's refusal to grant the Dalai Lama a visa declared unlawful.

The Western Cape High Court granted the parties leave to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal to have the constitutionality of the government's "persistent denial" of a visa to the spiritual leader reviewed, said Inkatha Freedom Party spokesman Mario Oriani-Ambrosini.

"Both parties are committed to pursue justice in this matter in which government acted against the will of the people who, according to a recent survey, would want the Dalai Lama to come to South Africa," he said.

IFP president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota believed that the Western Cape High Court erred in its judgment on February 3.

The court dismissed, with costs, an application on whether it was constitutional for the government not to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama last year.

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

At the time, he was awaiting the outcome of his visa application.

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