‘SA not doing China’s bidding on Dalai Lama’

2014-11-27 15:23

South Africa has no policy barring the Dalai Lama from entering the country, says International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane.

Addressing journalists about President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to China next week, Nkoana-Mashabane deftly side-stepped questions on why the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader had been refused entry to South Africa several times, and whether South Africa was doing China’s bidding in this regard.

“The answer is South Africa has its own independent foreign policy and there’s no individual in any corner of the world which has been banished to enter or visit South Africa,” she said.

“The Tibet region is considered to be an autonomous region of China. South Africa openly adopted a one-China policy and that was under the leadership of Madiba [former president Nelson Mandela].”

South Africa’s one-China policy rejected Tibetan independence.

Nkoana-Mashabane could not confirm that China’s human rights track record would be up for discussion during the state visit.

“We have one of the very few constitutions in the world that I know has human rights embedded in the actual constitution itself so there’s no us looking the other way and us not defending fiercely that which we are known for which is based on the spirit of ubuntu,” she said.

“I do not know of any country which does not engage China politically, economically and socially, so what we do everyday... is to continue doing South Africa’s bidding of what we believe to be defending all the rights that we fought for.”

In October, the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates which was due to be held in Cape Town was suspended and moved to Rome, Italy, as a result of a planned boycott by fellow laureates who were unhappy about the Dalai Lama not being able to obtain a visa.

It was the third time in five years he could not secure a visa to enter South Africa.

At the time the international relations department said the Dalai Lama’s visa application was a closed matter, and that he had cancelled his trip.

Join the conversation!

24.com 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.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
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 24.com 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.