Dalai Lama not a threat - Ramphele

2011-10-04 07:53

Johannesburg - It would be "really not fair" if the Dalai Lama is denied a visa to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's birthday party, businesswoman Mamphela Ramphele has said.

The Tibetan spiritual leader, 76, was hoping to travel to Cape Town to attend his fellow Nobel Peace laureate's 80th birthday celebrations this coming weekend, but the South African government is yet to say if he will be granted a visa.

"Isn't it ironic, that when he's celebrating his 80th birthday, the most fundamental right - the right to association - is being taken away from him?

"He can't have a party with his friends and they are just old men," Ramphele said on Monday evening at a candlelight vigil outside Parliament to put pressure on the government to grant the visa.

Old men

Ramphele was quoted on SABC radio news as saying that Tutu and the Dalai Lama were "not really a threat to anybody".

"So why would anybody really want to disturb a lovely party for a lovely set of old men? It's really not fair," said Ramphele.

In 2009, the Dalai Lama was refused entry by President Jacob Zuma's government, sparking criticism from former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan.

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

He accepts Chinese rule, but Beijing accuses him of being a separatist and routinely warns government leaders against meeting with him.

The Dalai Lama visited South Africa on three occasions between 1996 and 2004, and met former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

  • Melanie - 2011-10-04 08:06

    I would have thought our government has bigger damned issues...

      Slartibartfast - 2011-10-04 08:12

      Jip ... however ... our current trade deficit is very real. This other "old man" is a real threat to trade seeing our dear government has chosen China as a major partner. How this silly woman (Ramphele) can state the contrary is really not based in reality.

      allie - 2011-10-04 08:14

      Is this man armed and dangerous?

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 08:23

      Ethics and support of peace are NOT serious issues, Melanie?

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-10-04 09:46

      The ANC MASTERS have put their COLLECTIVE FOOT DOWN, and the ANC are only OBEYING ORDERS!!! They cannot afford not to obey their Masters.... otherwise ZUMA AND MOTHLANTHE have to go to CHINA, to face the music TOGETHER!!!!

      eric.vanvuuren - 2011-10-04 13:10

      yet again I would like to extend a heartfelt invitation from everybody in south Africa, So you can come and visit for as long as you like. We sinisterly apologise for though's in power, for there heads are so for up the Chinese @rses that they have, lost touch with the rest of there country, and shame us all on a dally basses. Let the Zumas and malemas go too china, then you may become our leader. Then healing can really start.

  • John - 2011-10-04 08:07

    Zuma's statement at the business breakfast that he has ministers/depts to to deal with visas is a lame excuse. He is the president i.e. the boss. Ministers and their depts should do what he tells them, but if they are making up their own mind, who is running foreign policy or for that matter the country. It obvious that we have a pass the buck president which accounts for lack of responsibility and gross financial mismanagment (corruption).

      JBft - 2011-10-04 09:38

      Probably find there is a nice golden hand shake from the new masters of Africa (China) for the big guy is he does not allow the visa, there should be no surprise realy, if you think the ANC are capable of any sort of respectful behaviour whilst in bed with China you will be dissapointed. Dont forget that the biggest beneficiary of all this is the ANC as their main pocket money donor is China.

  • Stuartthom - 2011-10-04 08:08

    ja but bob is welcome

      SKAAMBOER - 2011-10-04 08:11


      IsThatAFact - 2011-10-04 08:58

      My very thoughts and what other despicable people have been aloud to visit or stay in this country.

  • PB - 2011-10-04 08:10

    Congratulations anc,the whole world is taking note of the control of china over South Africa. You are spineless puppets of china and this is just SO ridiculous. Grow a pair - show us that you are actually running this country - but I guess that is being asked too much.

  • Christo - 2011-10-04 08:13

    It is a pity and very clear what is going on in this country. These people are going out of their way to keep the Chinese happy but not their own citizens, especially the tax payer who tries his best to develop this country for future generations.Soon our national dish will be Fa King Duck.

  • Brian Smith - 2011-10-04 08:14

    It is now clear that RSA has been colonised by China who now dictate our foreign policy.

  • Slingervel - 2011-10-04 08:16

    This government should be fed to the dogs! Morality stopped when Madiba left the political scene. Now everything is in the hands of a bunch incompetent thugs! One moerse crash is awaiting this country!

  • Boxxer - 2011-10-04 08:20

    Move the party to Lesotho.

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-04 09:18

      LOL!!! Party in LS... Le-shooters, le-shooters Morning after... Ma-seer-u, ma-seer-u

  • tootingdel - 2011-10-04 08:22

    Why won't the Government do the right thing and give the Dali Lama visa? To deny him the visit is refusing someone a visit because he doesn't fit into the right group? i.e. he is a pain in the a*** for China. Seems like a policy the Nats would have endorsed! Zuma show that you have some inkling of support for human rights and the battle for freedom elswhere in the world like many people did here and overseas to free you and yours. If you refuse to do so to appease China this makes a total mockery of anything the old-Anc stood for and shows you are just doffing your cap to the current coloniser of Africa - China.

  • daaivark - 2011-10-04 08:22

    It is just so bizarre that two of the world's greatest peacemakers are seen as a threat to anyone. If peace threatens the status quo, then I fear there is something seriously wrong with that status quo. "All we are saying...... is give Peace a chance".

      Willie_G - 2011-10-04 08:29

      Did you just listen to John Lennon?

      EyeAmMyOwn - 2011-10-04 09:09

      as George Carlin has so eloquently noted: who is it that we assassinate? and kill?? Jesus. Ghandi. John F Kennedy. Martin Luther King. Malcom X. John Lennon. "they all said - try to live together peacfully ... BAM!" STILL not ready for peaceful resolutions.

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 09:19

      Willie_G: Not specifically, but the song tends to resonate in my mind most days when I see what human beings do to each other.

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 09:20

      EyeAmMyOwn: Yip, or as THE THE said so well: If Jesus Christ came down today he'd be gunned down cold by the CIA..... or close to that anyway.

  • Fighter - 2011-10-04 08:27

    Its business move to deny him entry to RSA, its not personal. Its those who say the clarion call for nationalization will chase investors, investors include China. And as country we have better business relations China. SORRY DALAI LAMA you will compromise us.

      PB - 2011-10-04 08:32

      Fighter, what you don't seem to get, is the fact that china is turning into our BOSS. We are being held hostage by them, this is just the beginning of their control. What do you think is going to happen in say a year's time - how much more in charge will they be of everything we do?

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 09:25

      Sometimes allowing oneself to be compromised is the only moral way.

  • amabok - 2011-10-04 08:27

    After Mandela and Sisulu's long fight for freedom and human rights, its a real shame to see their tarnished by SA's support of Govt's (Libya, China, Venuzaela etc) with poor human rights records.

  • Xram62 - 2011-10-04 08:30

    Of course his not a "threat" to anyone...just like Hitler, Idi Amin, Jack the Ripper, Stalin, Mugabe, Juju and Mao Tse Tung was not a "threat" to anyone!!! Clever, Minister....

      gizzy - 2011-10-04 09:21

      Eish! You can makes comments like that because? A) you know the Dalai Lama, B) he has harmed you C) you suck up everything the ANC say D) you're a sheep. Which one is it?

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 09:24

      Xram62 - How can you possibly compare these two men to those you list? Are you unwell?

  • jen - 2011-10-04 08:31

    As the president of SA, Jacob Zuma can advise the Home Affairs Department. With Malema and Zuma's antics, we are already the laughing stock - even here in East Africa. How can they knowingly let the Mafia in on false passports, but not the Dalai Lama.

  • blaxta - 2011-10-04 08:35

    I wonder Why doesn't the Revolutionary League shout Imperialism on this one?

  • errol.wagner - 2011-10-04 08:42

    Yes they are a threat - a very real one - they are men of integrity! Even though I do not accept their religious views, I appreciate the principles they stand for and their commitment to these principles. Anyone of integrity is a threat to this government for their 'light' reveals the 'darkness' of our government. You can see this from the people they accept - China is one of the most oppressive regimes. Thousands of Christians are being persecuted by them every day with not a word of condemnation from the world.

  • DeLaReyLetul - 2011-10-04 08:47

    Vuka! SA Gov don't embarres us by being bullied by China. FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION !!

  • Dave Hood - 2011-10-04 08:50

    Of course the ANC will bow to China's wishes - big debts to pay for past favours. Don't ask about the morality or sense of the decision - ANC knows absolutely nothing of morals or good sense - that is why we will remain the laughing stock of the more informed nations of the world

  • ra.get10 - 2011-10-04 08:51

    The Tibetan situation is really a sad story and it is strange the our Goverment views his Holiness's presence as a threat to Chinese investment in our country.Don't the Chinese also need us;so why the fear - the respect for money seems more important than the moral stance.Mind you, that has also been eroded tremendously over the years.

  • simon - 2011-10-04 08:52

    Now lets just assume, hypothetically, of course, that China offered showerhead and a few of his cronies $10 million if the Lama is refused a visa. Now the Lama coming here certainly would threaten that, would it not ? Methinks Ramfele cannot think properly anymore, and Tutu has already demonstrated his senility.

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 09:22

      It's naive to think it goes about a mere bribe. This goes about not being willing to displease a potential trading partner.

      simon - 2011-10-04 09:59

      @daaivark::::strangely, I think that major trade deals would not be affected, it is too much of a two-way street. Yes, I think the whole thing is as sordid as just a simple personal bribe. Greed knows no bounds.

      mtzulu1 - 2011-10-04 12:02

      let Tutu go there to India to meet his Pal there.

  • tummi.malesa - 2011-10-04 08:52

    Its Funny how people who were exiled can't seem now to relate to another exiled human being,Our Govenment is A**Kissing the Chinese Govenment like the comments on the Article Let these two old Men enjoy a party thats all the Dalai Lama is coming here in SA to party with his buddies Our Govement doesnt deserve a bells cause they simply have no Balls

  • mac-sdi - 2011-10-04 08:53

    Our president should be recalled. the man stands for nothing. this is another opportunity for him to take a stand, intervene and show China and the nation who is boss. #sick of this fool

  • CaptainK - 2011-10-04 08:57

    ...and the Rand takes another dip. Thanks ANC effups! That's an extra ZAR 1350.00 I'll make on my USD contract coming up! :) Just loving what these selfserving racist "bastardos" are doing for economics right before I go overseas for contract next week!

  • robbieyahu - 2011-10-04 09:00

    like i've said before ....proudly south african ??? yet who is pulling the strings here ?? china or the secret evil rulers of the world?? ... there are murderers , robbers and rapists walking freely in our country yet a peaceful man ..the dalai lama cant even visit an old peaceful friend ??? pathetic !!! thanx for ms. mamphela for voicing this issue !!!!

  • robbieyahu - 2011-10-04 09:01

    like i've said before ....proudly south african ??? yet who is pulling the strings here ?? china or the secret evil rulers of the world?? ... there are murderers , robbers and rapists walking freely in our country yet a peaceful man ..the dalai lama cant even visit an old peaceful friend ??? pathetic !!! thanx for ms. mamphela for voicing this issue !!!!

  • Snera - 2011-10-04 09:03

    lol... i wonder wat china has on Zuma?

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-04 09:10

      Seeing how he's escaped corruption charges, rape charges, openly has affairs and illegitimate children, there's not much left for anybody to have on Zuma!

  • Janine - 2011-10-04 09:07

    Can someone please explain to me why this man needs a visa? I wasn't aware that visas were required for SA visitors. The ANC are too afraid to let him in - he might just spread PEACE!

  • Straightdeal - 2011-10-04 09:08

    Good grief, give the guy a visa so the old toppies can have a party and enjoy themselves!

  • sky189 - 2011-10-04 09:21

    s.a should tell dalai lama"computer says no" so no one need to take the rap.

  • AntonioP - 2011-10-04 09:26

    Tell that to the Chinese, Ramphele. Anyway, I LOVE the way the ANC govt allows itself to be put in this posotion. All other, NORMAL countries, have very strong trade relations with China, -but nobody tells them what to do, who to receive in their OWN country. Solid indictment of the spineless, clueless Zuma Administration. Shows up these clowns in a wonderful way!

  • Marcxt500 - 2011-10-04 09:39

    He can't have a party with his friends and they are just old men... and old men have the MOST influence! We share BILLIONS with China... and if that is cut off... ooohooo all the people are going to cry... where we going to get cheap imports from...?

  • sipho - 2011-10-04 09:42

    Africans are now officially Chinese lapdogs. "SIT" and we sit. It's pathetic. How will we ever be able to face the rest of the world again? Might as well just bend over more and take it like African men should...

  • Chris - 2011-10-04 10:18

    What price next time, China? This is REALLY dangerous territory for SA.

  • TheProf21 - 2011-10-04 10:30

    Has anyone actualy taken the time to investigate how much we actualy trade with China and how much of that is really dependant on a bunch of economically incompetant politicians who would not know one end of a trade agreeemnt from another. Business does business with business, profit motives rule! This is purely political and a typical 'African'response to jump into the arms of an imperial style government and who at the same who are completely ignorant to recognize the stupid irony of accusing the west of 'imperialism'this is the same west that so many African refugees literally 'die' to enter.

  • letsee - 2011-10-04 10:35


  • Ruperdo - 2011-10-04 10:43


  • mtzulu1 - 2011-10-04 11:59

    this old man must just retire in peace and avoid turning the country upside down. man of God shouldnt be operating as he is. Grow up Tutu and Grow old. Dalai Lama this, that,"NO old man grow up". why dont you go to India and meet him there and stop crying for sympathy from everyone else.

  • Roslyn Lindley - 2011-10-04 12:16

    I am just so devastated at the news that the visa has not been granted and that the beloved Holiness the Dalai Lama has had to cancel his trip. Diabolical of my country and its government, I hang my head in shame. I love my country so much, but when this happens I despair at its ineffectual leaders. With all my apologies and sympathy

  • Mlungubasher - 2011-10-04 13:05

    This has nothing to do with our Foreign Policy, But everything to do with what China has done for the ruling Party.

  • sphamandla - 2011-10-04 13:56

    I find it interesting that the zuma gov is the first sa gov to deny the dalai lama,could it be the fact that zuma got into power via the support of the left in the anc and the closer relationship with china could be a way to ensure that we have a major supporter when implementing more socialist policies since the us would never support this?

  • Sonam - 2011-10-04 14:33

    It is just sad to see a man of such humility and nobelity, be denied a VISA when he has travelled more than anybody all over the world. I can understand the politics of this but his visit has no political intent, more over he has handed all political duties to the Tibetan Govt in Exile and now focusses on his two main goals, Promote human values and promote religious harmony. This is a sad sad day for country like SA when his history is founded on such great principles. Hope we donot see this happen to any one in the future.

  • George van der Merwe - 2011-10-04 17:48

    Hi Dalai my China, it's like, man, we like, believe in liberation for some, not for all. We believe in human rights for some, not for all. We believe in freedom of association for some, not for all. We believe in freedom of movement for some, not for all. Sorry Dal, but you are part of the not for all. A better life for some... (why are you still waiting for services, Dummkopf? It's not really for all...! But keep on voting for us!)

  • matcat - 2011-10-10 18:20

    The Chinese Republic of South Africa

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