Wits academics: ANC morally bankrupt

2011-10-06 07:44

Johannesburg - University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) academics protesting over the Dalai Lama visa debacle accused the ruling party on Wednesday of being intellectually dishonest.

"This is the second time this happens. It's really unfortunate and very disingenuous of government. It's embarrassing," said professor Patrick FitzGerald, a deputy vice-chancellor.

Assistant lecturer Margaux Giannaros said: "As a country that experienced and defeated apartheid, we should be a free-thinking nation."

His colleague Kuba Szczygielski also questioned the way in which the government had handled the Tibetan spiritual leader's visa application.

"The hypocrisy of the whole thing! They would allow [former Libyan leader Muammar] Gaddafi and [Zimbabwe's president Robert] Mugabe in the country, but they can't accept a spiritual leader? It's amazing."

The university's vice chancellor Loyiso Nongxa said in a statement he was "disappointed and outraged" over parallels between the present government and the actions of the previous regime.

"It is not consistent with our African soul to make a prospective guest feel unwelcome," said Nongxa.

"I was brought up to believe that a guest brings blessings and South Africa in the 21st century sends signals that some guests are unwanted. It is deeply, deeply disappointing."

Shame ANC!

The Dalai Lama announced on Tuesday he had cancelled a planned trip to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations at the weekend.

At the time he was still awaiting a decision from the government on his application for a visa.

Students and academics gathered for the protest at Wits, in Johannesburg, on Wednesday afternoon.

They held placards criticising the African National Congress and the government for its handling of the visa application.

A poster held up by an academic in his robe read: "Shame ANC! Intellectually dishonest, morally bankrupt and unworthy of South Africa."

FitzGerald challenged the government to explain what happened around the visa application so that the matter could be debated.

ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu earlier said the ANC was not "micro-managing" the government and was therefore not to blame for the situation.

It was also incorrect to equate the ANC government to the "repressive and divisive" apartheid regime - which never cared for the majority, he said.

Mthembu called on the department of international relations to take South Africans into its confidence on the issue.

It should reveal what happened so that everyone could be on the same page.

He called upon South Africans to stay calm and afford the government an opportunity to take everyone into its confidence around the issue.

 
 
- SAPA
Read more on:    wits  |  anc  |  dalai lama  |  desmond tutu  |  johannesburg  |  politics
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com 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
94 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

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

Hello 

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 24.com network.

Settings

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.