Dalai Lama visa 'inconvenient' for SA

2011-10-04 12:08

Cape Town - The Dalai Lama said on Tuesday that he had cancelled his planned trip to South Africa to spare the government any further inconvenience.

Tibet's exiled spiritual leader made the decision as he was still waiting for a response to his visa application three days before he was due in South Africa to attend the birthday of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.

"His Holiness was to depart for South Africa on October 6, but visas have not been granted yet," his office said in a statement.

"We are, therefore, now convinced that for whatever reason or reasons, the South African government finds it inconvenient to issue a visa to His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

"His Holiness has thus decided to call off his upcoming visit to South Africa, and he regrets the inconvenience caused to his hosts and the large number of the South African public who are keenly waiting to receive him and hear his message."

'Darkest day'

The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre lamented the government's reluctance to allow one of the world's best known religious figures into the country.

"I do not even have the words to say how sad I feel. This is the darkest day. Our officials felt it was not even important to respond to his application," said the centre's spokesperson Nomfundo Wazala.

The University of the Witwatersrand also expressed dismay.

"We, as South Africans, have a moral obligation to provide a platform for all voices to be heard, including the voice of the Dalai Lama.

"The university condemns the state for once again not granting a visa for this stalwart of peace to enter our country," said Prof Loyiso Nongxa, the university's vice-chancellor and principal.

"The state's deliberate indecision ridicules the values pertaining to freedom of speech, expression and movement enshrined in our Constitution, and the freedoms for which so many South African have lived, and indeed died," he said.

The Dalai Lama applied for a visa in August, but after weeks of official silence on the matter it was widely expected that the government would again bow to pressure from China, its biggest trade partner.

Beijing describes the Dalai Lama as a "splittist" and discourages foreign governments from receiving him, even though he accepts Chinese rule of Tibet.


At a candlelight vigil outside Parliament on Monday, the Congress of SA Trade Unions criticised the government for allowing China to "dictate" its foreign policy.

"Even though China is our biggest trading partner, we should not exchange our morality for dollars or yuan," Cosatu's Western Cape leader Tony Ehrenreich told the gathering.

"It is completely inappropriate and discriminatory that the Dalai Lama should be denied access. Our democracy is founded on diversity, imperfect as it is."

Businesswoman Mamphela Ramphele said at the vigil that both Tutu and the Dalai Lama had been unfairly treated.

"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, according to an SABC radio news report.

She said Tutu and the Dalai Lama were "not really a threat to anybody".

'Not fair'

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

The trip would have been the Nobel peace laureate's fourth to South Africa.

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

In 2009, he was refused entry by the Zuma administration to attend a conference of Nobel laureates.

The government said the visit would detract from preparations for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

That decision drew sharp criticism from abroad and at home.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-10-04 12:10

    Is this article any different from the last one?

      Pixie1984 - 2011-10-04 12:15

      different heading :)

      Darwinian - 2011-10-04 12:15

      I'm STRUGGLING to see the difference...

      daaivark - 2011-10-04 12:29

      Not much Matt, but more of the Dalai Lama's response is quoted. Nevertheless, this is an outrage and I think splitting hairs in this case is not useful.

      HONKY101 - 2011-10-04 12:42

      Why threaten a 2.5 billion dollar investment into SA for a birthday party ?? This money will feed many homes !!

      GypseyAnn - 2011-10-04 12:45

      @ Honky - but will it feed any souls? The soul is more precious than many imagine!!

      Foxx - 2011-10-04 12:50

      No different. The ANC or a bunch of two faced f**king c*nts. They have no credibility what so ever. Watch what happens if it happens to them. They must think that the rest of the world believes their lies.

      George - 2011-10-04 12:51

      what we need now are investments worth hundreds of billions by the rising Chinese, not some religious birthday parties by theocrats as represented by Dalai lama. We need jobs for crime to go down, Dalai Lama wont provide bread for us. Instead hijackings,murder,poverty,unemployment will increase due to Chinese disinvestment while a religious zealot parties in our shores. Dalai Lama is a theocratic tyrant who openly practised slavery and caste system in Tibet. He is not voted into power rather assumes his dictatorship through some medieval oppressive "re-incarnation" ploy. Between the Dalai Lama and the chinese, i choose the chinese for practical developmental purposes.

      willieman - 2011-10-04 12:53

      sub standard goods = happy anc economic thugs(chinese) = happy anc loosing jobs = happy anc denying visas to appease China = happy anc sub standard rdp houses = happy anc

      Jackool - 2011-10-04 13:01

      @George. As if China is going to cancel any business to South Africa because of a visit from DL. Don't worry, China owns you and won't let you go so easily. As long as there is money to be made they will stick around. Since when do the Chinese boycott anyone as long as there is money to be made? Their moral fibre is not all that you know. Worst case scenario is that the Chinese would sulk for a few weeks and then forget about it. Real scenario is that South Africa just discarded another huge chunk of self respect and integrity.

      Jonathan - 2011-10-04 13:08

      Who's homes? Julius and JZ's houses?

      Marcus - 2011-10-04 13:46

      @GypseyAnn - so what we need then is some soul food, hmmmmm... to the Chicken Licken!!!!

      Marc - 2011-10-04 13:56

      @george - you are an idiot.

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-04 14:45

      The Dalai Lama visited South Africa on three occasions between 1996 and 2004, and met former presidents Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki. In 2009, he was refused entry by the Zuma administration to attend a conference of Nobel laureates. Clearly the philanderer doesn't like philantropists, the inconvenience of the Dalai Lama's visa displays his incompetence.

      MojoBa - 2011-10-04 15:03

      The problem for me is that, the money that comes in from relations with China is just going to be misused and will not reach the poor anyway, so let the man come and visit for sh@t's sake

  • Pixie1984 - 2011-10-04 12:12

    Spineless South African government. Have the guts to give the world a real reason why the Dalai Lama is not allowed in the country won't you? Or did China tell you to "hou jou bek"?

      vasti - 2011-10-04 12:27

      the puppet masters are pulling the strings and the puppets are jumping!

      Ren - 2011-10-04 12:40

      China told them to bend over and that's exactly what they did

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-04 12:50

      @ Ren - so for once JZ isn't the one doing the steeking...

      Jon JJ - 2011-10-04 12:52

      We have a criminal government and the sooner they are ousted the better. There is no excuse for this and their siding with dictators like Gaddafi. The ANC are scum.

      willieman - 2011-10-04 13:06

      @ George what investment give us any proof, or you talking about lost jobs in textile industries.Ask people in the cape ,durban,hammaskraal,bloemfontein ga!!!!!! it is a shame

      Tassenberg - 2011-10-04 13:07

      Yes, we started huge trade with China in 2005, but I think someone should start investigating some dealings of government officials with China, for why was Mbeki and Madiba not afraid to let the Dalai Lama in, but our current president just said it is not for him to decide. Make one think.

      allows - 2011-10-04 13:19

      We now know for certain that China runs this country.....

      meyersspace - 2011-10-04 14:11

      I think china told anc to introduce secrecy bill to shut this kind of thing up.

      myancmyfutur - 2011-10-04 14:24

      Maybe the D L is a womaniser and we need less competition

  • tripwire - 2011-10-04 12:15

    China says noooo to ANC

  • GTA_Lad - 2011-10-04 12:17

    What a pathetic government we have, they don't even have the balls to say no, they just wait it out without saying anything

  • Anneleen - 2011-10-04 12:19

    "Inconvenient"-how so? Officials are just plain lazy.

      Sharkie - 2011-10-04 12:29


      Jackool - 2011-10-04 12:30

      Any kind of paperwork involving stamps and stickers is a huge inconvenience for government admin in South Africa.

  • Slapper - 2011-10-04 12:22

    Another disgraceful episode in the history of an ANC led South Africa. Internationally we are a back stabbing joke.

  • SirVic - 2011-10-04 12:23

    Zuma cabinet once again proved to be spineless.......

  • daaivark - 2011-10-04 12:26

    "Even though China is our biggest trading partner, we should not exchange our morality for dollars or yuan.".... "It is completely inappropriate and discriminatory that the Dalai Lama should be denied access. Our democracy is founded on diversity, imperfect as it is." YES COSATU. Well said.

      Warslat - 2011-10-04 21:28

      Look at how the Dalai Lama persecutes Shugden believers. DL compassionate and ass. Being denied access is admittedly wrong but sweet justice.

  • daaivark - 2011-10-04 12:28

    And Ms Ramphele adds to it a point so far overlooked, that Tutu is deprived of his right to freedom of association. Thanks for being so utterly shameless, dear political leaders.

  • Loofdellort - 2011-10-04 12:31

    Clowns. Julle het n nuwe BAAS!! and that's the truth, my China

      Geo - 2011-10-05 04:38

      What is the Chinese word for "Baas"? Zuma & Co must start learning the word

  • Mike Hoxbig - 2011-10-04 12:31

    The white oppressor has been replaced by the Chinese oppressor.

  • Stephen - 2011-10-04 12:31

    "The state's deliberate indecision ridicules the values pertaining to freedom of speech, expression and movement enshrined in our Constitution, and the freedoms for which so many South African have lived, and indeed died," Amen...

      Dmitri - 2011-10-04 12:34

      To all those who voted for the cANCer, how do you feel now?

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-04 14:02

      With their fingers.

  • cameronl78 - 2011-10-04 12:32

    sad so sad, that our government would that, how do we as a country look in the eyes of the rest of the world? not a good reflection whatsoever, once again another awesome performance from the anc, I heard on 5fm that the Dalai Lama`s visa was declined because apparently the paperwork was wrong? (what that I smell? oh yes it`s BS)

  • Keevus - 2011-10-04 12:36

    the direction the new ANC has taken our government is lamentable,denied Dalai Lama the visa,secrecy bill,foolish stand at the UN over Lybia,promise ofr jobs that never materialses,julius malema polirising the races in mzantsi,increased corruption dadadadadadad. the point is we are going to nowhereland VERY FAST under the Zuma administration.just in case you wanna know,I am black and gatvol!!

  • shellerjc - 2011-10-04 12:36

    I am embarrassed to call myself South African - This is such a disgrace

  • Proffie - 2011-10-04 12:37

    There are no words to express my utter disgust at those dithering officials in government. I hang my head in shame to be called a South African. Shame on you ANC, shame on you.

  • thabatao - 2011-10-04 12:37

    The true apartheid regime has shown its face. The real racists have stood up to be counted. The ANC has spoken. Their Chinese gods have and rulers have pulled in the reigns tight.

  • Kev - 2011-10-04 12:39

    Bend over SA so that China can stick it to you.

      Normaldude - 2011-10-04 13:30

      Yes , I believe that the ANC Government national symbol should be the Condom : "Gives you a false sense of Security whilst you being Fu@ked" This is what this Government is doing to the people of SA

  • John - 2011-10-04 12:39

    Ironically there was no objection from China. Our gov just assumed there would be.

  • meeee - 2011-10-04 12:40

    Why is China scared of this guy?

      Jackool - 2011-10-04 13:37

      Because he represents the tip of the Iceberg in regards to Chinese oppression. And it goes way beyond Tibet, including huge parts of China that is filled with oppressed native people under Chinese rule.

  • Brenton - 2011-10-04 12:41

    This is a double edged sword because you are damned if you do and damned if you don't. Morality vs Economics - Unfortunately Economics will always prevail because to be sustainable you need markets to trade your products and with our current economic climate we need China more than they need us, so while we might not agree with the Governments policy it is an extremely difficult position that they find themselves in.

      Nobuntu - 2011-10-04 12:50

      I haven't seen China ceasing trade with India which is where the Dalai Lama lives in exile. Strange.

      Lekabisto - 2011-10-04 13:28

      Well Brenton that still does not change the fact that ou government is spineless and Gutless pricks at the bottom end of strings with their limbs hanging upwards. As Nobuntu said I doubt china would ever stop trades with SA over the Dalai Lama visiting our shores, no matter how much they HATE it and condemn it, and I for one am ashamed that I have this type of goverment governing us.

      Brenton - 2011-10-04 13:41

      @Nobuntu You can't seriously compare our export based economy of 50million people which is struggling to attract foreign direct investment to India's 1.155 Billion People.

      Cacophony82 - 2011-10-04 14:50

      @Brenton - You could also ask the following question. Why do we need so much foreign investment from China when history (even if some of it was appalling) has shown that South Africa can in fact be the investor? We have all the resources, just none of the know how or will power where it matters. Since 1994 for example we have gone from a net exporter of food to having to import most of our food based solely on the fact that the ANC cannot and will never be able to run this country effectively while the old guys are still there because almost everybody in office today was given training in how to fight with others and among themselves instead of training in basic freaking math. Mudslinging is not a sport and it does not take a scientist to know that if you have so much to offer in terms of resources especially scarce mineral resources as South Africa, that you should be the one holding the key to the proverbial safe, not the toddler crying because Big Mommy investor took away my sweets for playing with somebody that she didn't like . China is an investor, yes, but they are not South Africa and they do not dictate our foreign policy. If they want our minerals then they should buy them on our terms. 1+1 = 2 not 3 or 4 or 5. Eish

  • Eben - 2011-10-04 12:42

    When your children ask you twenty years from now how it happened that our people became the slaves of a heartless and immoral nation, be sure to remember this day in explaining how it all developed.

      Shaz - 2011-10-04 14:35

      Hence the reason that so many people have decided against having children. Why would we want to bring them into a society as broken and corrupt as ours. There will be nothing worth fighting for 20 years from now. Sad.

  • Still_SA - 2011-10-04 12:42

    Funny how Western government interference will not be tolerated by our government but China is their biggest bum-chum! Nationalization of mines… Where do you think they get that idea from…? China of course!!! The ANC will coin a new term and call us a “Communist-Democracy”! LOL! Sick and tired of politics! It’s all a load of BS. If we have learned anything from the way the world is turning out it is that money should be our God. It dictates just about everything we essentially are!

  • Pierre du Plessis - 2011-10-04 12:42

    No Dalai Lama! More Rhino Horn!!! ???

  • Brendon - 2011-10-04 12:42

    Our new masters are the much for liberation and freedom.

  • abg100 - 2011-10-04 12:42

    What an absolute statement on where zuma is heading with this country! a bunch of losers and USERS. The very people who supported them during apartheid are now shunned. Typical anc behavior-use you and abandon you!They fear anyone who has a sense of morality. Anc is so far up chinas a*s,they cant see daylight! Shame on you anc! SHAME ON YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Not Black - 2011-10-04 12:43

    Dear Dalai Lama, Sorry you are not approved for a Visa to visit SA for Tutu's Party. The SA Govt has a Special Guest List that requires NO VISAS. The list is thus far as follows: 1.Robert Mugabe 2.Muammar Gaddaffi 3.Kim Jong Ill 4.Hosni Mubarak 5.Fidel Castro 6.Hugo Chavez 7.Laurent Kabilla 8.The Living-in Cape-Exiled head of Haiti 9.All the current BBBBBBBEEEEEEEE benefactors from Codesa 2 10. And of course, the REGULAR RANGE ROVER Brigade from the GRAVY TRAIN I REST MY CASE

  • Nicolene - 2011-10-04 12:43

    Oh my word! He just wants to come have some "koek en tee" with his friend. What's the big deal?! Thought we were supposed to be a rainbow nation and not judge anbody...

  • Jon JJ - 2011-10-04 12:45

    So Desmond tell me, do you vote for the ANC?

      Not Black - 2011-10-04 13:06

      Brilliant JonJJ THE MOST PERTINENT QUESTION EVER. I REST MY CASE. See some of my posts above

  • Fision - 2011-10-04 12:46

    And thus SA takes another step toward becoming a chinese province. Nice on ANC - not!

      Loofdellort - 2011-10-04 13:05

      oh I used the double negative....very clever

  • Sampioen - 2011-10-04 12:47

    Stay where you are Dalai, you don't belong here in any case...

      Lekabisto - 2011-10-04 13:19

      That is the most ignorant comment today.....

  • mjvandersandt - 2011-10-04 12:50

    The government dont need chinese opression to be disfunctional. They are born that way. Waiting almost a year for a death certificate, the Dalai Lama can feel privilidged to have attracted their attention in two months time.

  • 1970 SAI - 2011-10-04 12:52

    I do not believe it is anything to do with the refusal of South Africa Government for his visit, this is all about the incompetency and management of the department. It happens all over, revenue office (for example my wife has been issued a fine for not return her tax form, what she never received, she is “unemployed” – at home), we did not receive our electricity & water bills for the last few months, we estimate more or less how much we need to pay, the municipality has been contacted millions of times, no answer, if you luck that someone answer, they are unpleasant and are not willing to help, received a final warning that we are R50 rand short on our bill, if we do not pay the amount in due tme our power will be cut)… do I need to say more.

      Miss Annie - 2011-10-04 14:29

      I'm trying to figure out what this has to do with the subject matter? We're talking about the Dalai Lama's denial of a visa not the municipalities and SARS! Stick to the point please.

  • princemamburu - 2011-10-04 12:52

    I am ashamed of my government today

  • K-NINE - 2011-10-04 12:53

    The Dalai Lama cannot facilitate any back-hand bribes, provide any free tickets on the gravy train or make any of the ANC snotpikkers feel special. Therefore - no Visa.

  • Andrew - 2011-10-04 12:54

    What an embarrassment the SA government is, a country that is supposed to stand for democracy is will to stub the Dalai Lama for a country that stubs democracy, how shallow our politicians are.

  • Grant - 2011-10-04 12:55

    This once again shows just how far removed the ANC is from the ideals and values on which it was formed .. I'm ashamed to be a South African today!!

  • King Solomon - 2011-10-04 12:55

    JZ has a big yellow strip down his back.

  • noagark - 2011-10-04 12:58

    Let there be no more doubt asbout the ANC.

  • Al G - 2011-10-04 12:59

    I just hope the Dalai Lama knows that the majority of the people of South Africa would have wanted it differently, but due to a few spineless individuals, we as a nation are being shamed. This is one of the reasons why democracy doesnt work. So much for that fight for freedom, hey, you chops...

      PietPompies - 2011-10-04 13:11

      Very true.It was a fight for corruption.

  • Andrew - 2011-10-04 13:00

    Dear Congress of Trade Unions, you are the puppy dog to your Chinese master, you loose jobs to them and you do nothing but encourage your Government to allow this to happen, when the government throws you a bone you stand there happily accepting it instead of walking away, your words have no meaning stand up and make your vote count then Government will listen to you, form a political party and let the ANC realize that is they want you vote that have to deliver otherwise give it to a party that deserves it. What makes you serve a master that keeps beating you I don't know

  • quidditas - 2011-10-04 13:01

    Would the government also deny the Pope a visa?

      AJ2 - 2011-10-04 13:55

      Depends on China's stance on the Vatican I suppose.

  • Big mack - 2011-10-04 13:02

    To JZ and your cronies....What does it feel like to be China's Bitch??? On your knees boys...Open wide!! Bunch of spineless idiots!!

  • stephan.steyn1 - 2011-10-04 13:02

    Communist China supports the ANC, the ANC wants continued support from the Communist....

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-04 13:16

      ANC is already Communist

  • Agent Bastad - 2011-10-04 13:03

    He's not even coming here on official business. Eish.

  • soulsurfer - 2011-10-04 13:04

    Well done SA Government!!! As if we don't already look like idiots in the international community, now this! This is like refusing Madiba a USA visa. I am in the USA on business at the moment and do you know how many people have asked me about this? Wake up ANC and SA Government!!! You are ruining all the hard work decent people are putting in to get SA back to where it deserves to be...Idiots!!!!

  • DanglyBits - 2011-10-04 13:05

    This Government is f.....g pathetic,During Apartheid these pr..ks were running all over the world to tell their story (and allowed to do so ) and now we have someone fighting for their rights and this rightious ars... s denies him the same stage

  • gcr - 2011-10-04 13:08

    The ANC and its cronies in Africa have all condemned colonialism in the strongest terms, but the reality is quite simple to see they are all beining colonised by the rapacous Chinese - just look at Africa and how much China has invested in these countries - that's the first step, then they send in their own people to help with the projects as consultants or engineers and all fields where Africa has no skills - these people stay and run businesses and through political connections get the tenders. Those unemployed people in our country will never get employment its all part of the greter ANC plan - have an unintelligent, unskilled people who follow instructions and vote for "the party". Its sad to see how uncaring the ANC are of their supporters and use force to quell service delivery demonstrations but don't take the same action against unruly trade union marches

  • Collitjies - 2011-10-04 13:10

    The ANC government should be bloody ashamed of themselves for not giving him a visa to attend Tutu's 80th birthday. If Juju wanted him here it would have been a totally different story.

  • RobertKay - 2011-10-04 13:12

    It's absolutely sickening that this bunch of cowards calling themselves Government bow to the new baasskap of China. Zuma had the gall yesterday to say that he knew nothing of the situation regarding the visa application. More lies from the President. Wonder how much the Chinese paid him? this country is now at the Donald Duck status that so many countries to the North of us have already reached. And people wonder why this place is starting to disintegrate? At my age I've seen it all and more, and I am surely glad I won't be around all that long to see things get worse.