Govt acted unlawfully against Dalai Lama - court

2012-11-29 11:54

Johannesburg - The Supreme Court of Appeal has ruled that government “deliberately delayed” a decision to grant the Dalai Lama a visa last year.

In a unanimous judgment, the court declared that former minister of home affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma had deliberately delayed her decision by four months.

The IFP and Cope appealed against the dismissal of their application in the Western Cape High Court to have the department of home affairs’ refusal to grant the Dalai Lama a visa in time declared unlawful.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, applied for a visa to visit South Africa from October 5 to 15 2011.

He had planned on attending Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s birthday celebrations, among other events, but cancelled the trip when a visa was not granted in time amid speculation that the South African government would refuse him entry for fear of offending China.

The high court had found that the issue was moot because the Dalai Lama had cancelled his trip and dismissed the application with cost.

The SCA found that the available evidence justified a finding that a decision on the Dalai Lama’s visa was delayed to “avoid a decision”.

“It hardly needs saying that the minister is not entitled to deliberately procrastinate,” the court found.

The court did not however find that there was enough evidence to indicate that the delay had amounted to a refusal of the visa.

The respondents are to pay the costs of the applicants.

  • seep.mctavish - 2012-11-29 11:58

    You dont say????

      UncleShep - 2012-11-29 12:06

      boy oh boy!

      Ven.saDhammananda - 2012-11-29 12:13

      you dont say WHAT ??

      greg.quinn.353 - 2012-11-29 12:15

      The ANC can't even issue a visa, no wonder they can't run a country.

      richard.t.holman - 2012-11-29 12:15

      Love it when the obvious gets pointed out. Shame the general voting population won't understand what the judgment implies.

      heini.botes - 2012-11-29 12:19

      Now i ask you, with all these things happening in our country and government today, how is it any different from the pre-94 did? (e.g Secrecy Bill, Visa's not being approved etc) PS. I didn't support the NP, what they did towards our fellow countryman was a disgrace.

      scouter.fourone - 2012-11-29 12:25

      What this headline should actually read is 'SAs new masters, the Chinese, delayed Dalai Lama's visa'. Better get used to your new masters SA - and if the majority think the 'white man' was bad, you ain't seen nothing yet...

      tim.gordon.5011516 - 2012-11-29 12:25

      All this so that govt can continue to bow to the Chinese who flog as cryppy goods that break after a month.

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2012-11-29 12:31 in your opinion News 24 readers are racist? so you being a News 24 reader, what does that make you? and what does this even have to do with race? blah blah blah, say something constructive or rather keep quiet, it really has not place here.

      WilsoWill - 2012-11-29 12:51

      Morris.khunou, please go look in the mirror...... there, thats what a troll looks like.

  • shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-29 11:59

    Hooray,somone willing to stand up and voice the wrongs! Just a pity no punishment on consequences will be dealt!

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-29 12:13

      Probably not. They will cook up another scheme and find a new fall guy!

      nosiphom.mazibuko - 2012-11-29 12:32

      It does not help anyone, the Dailalama did not attend Tutu's birthday bash. This is just a waste of time & taxpayers money. The respondents take money form one taxpayers pot into another - net effect - waste of resources.

      morris.khunou - 2012-11-29 12:36

      Alicia> No! we will rather arrange for you to visit him! It is power that is at play here Madam!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-29 12:37

      @nosi, it is the principle. It goes to show the ANC have failed to understand a democracy. It goes to show the ANC as rotten and self-serving, pandering to their Chinese masters.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-11-29 13:51

      That fat lard@ss already got her promotion. She is now on board the AU gravy train. Hey showerhead say hello to your new masters, the yellow people.....Useless idiot

  • webstorm.isp.5 - 2012-11-29 12:00

    Dont worry Mr Dalai Lama, it was for the better, nothing to see

  • morris.khunou - 2012-11-29 12:02

    Not every right decision is lawful and not every lawful decision is right! Life is also about balancing competing interests!

      Cherri - 2012-11-29 12:13

      So says a chinese lackey....

      shirley.steenkamp - 2012-11-29 12:19

      Not when those interest fit the pockets of the elite few and are too afraid of hurting Chinas feelings!!!!!!!!!

      philip.gray.10048 - 2012-11-29 12:21

      I agree with your comment cherri.pye.5

      bibi.vanzyl - 2012-11-29 12:23

      But every Eastern European Mafia gang, genocide dictators from Africa and criminals from all over the world is welcome. Nothing lawful about their decision though - not a lot of law in the government anyway.

      morris.khunou - 2012-11-29 12:27

      We are in power Cherri and have to make decisions, even unpopular ones sometimes! It is called leadership! We are not like a bunch of rugby or soccer fans seeing every falt with each player and coach! Being in the opposition is like a spectator!

      toni.k.mcquillen - 2012-11-29 12:34

      morris.khunou the Dalai Lama dude, not some criminal! he is about peace! there is no logic behind it, he wanted to attend a great south african's birthday Desmond Tutu, seriously you may have a point in general but in this case it is just silly of the higher powers!

      alan.jerrold - 2012-11-29 12:41

      Morris, you know as well as everyone else on this site - the ANC's decision was 100% done to please their Chinese masters, who are now getting their hands on as many of our strategic minerals as possible (and also filling ANC leaders' pockets). Do you even dare to try and deny this? Then check out China's human rights record - they make the Nats look like a bunch of Sunday schoolers. And you guys are getting into bed with them? Nice, very nice.

      heini.botes - 2012-11-29 12:42

      @Morrs...i take it the 'we' your referring to is the corrupt desease ridden cANCer, well, this 'we' of yours is driving this beautiful country into the ground! And it's thick headed baffoons like yourself who will just stand by and watch them go to work. Guys like you will stand back and watch something rape your mother and child and just say then, 'Its all good'

      clive.prince.14 - 2012-11-29 12:48

      Like balancing your Chinese masters who do not give a dam about human rights and free speech ,you guys will wake up one day and be eating bowls of noodles before you go off to tend the rice fields

      alexandra.robertson.969 - 2012-11-29 12:55

      @morris, so you think that the decision to basically ignore the visa application of a man who's only wish was to visit his friend on his birthday is correct? Please explain how denying the Dalai Lama a visa is something that is in the benefit of all South Africans? Please also remember he is a man of peace.

      gavin.lott.9 - 2012-11-29 13:32

      Revelgen...nicely said! these guys have NO idea of who they are getting into bed with!

      gerhard.debruijn - 2012-11-29 13:43

      Hey Morris! You better learn to say: "Ja Baas!" in Chinese!!!

  • ryan.a.smith.3958 - 2012-11-29 12:02

    ok so the government guilty again. but theres never a penalty and will be forgotten in no time

      Jeremy - 2012-11-29 12:10

      However, Ryan, there's now a precedent. And in legal terms, that means that if the Dalai Llama or anyone else controversial applies for a visa again, the government will now have to make up its mind a damn sight quicket than it did in this case....

      ignatius.vanzyl - 2012-11-29 13:16

      avatar ignatius.vanzyl - Just posted Report commentComments Policy I agree, except that we, the taxpayers, are penalised again. Our tax money is wasted to try and defend the indefensible instead of being used for the benefit of the citizens. I think it’s time that government officials are held personally liable for the legal costs if they fight a citizen in court and lose the case, otherwise this arrogance as well as the wasting of the court's time and state funds will just continue. I feel the minister should at least publish a public apology to the Dalai Lama and the citizens of the country.

      jannie.beirowski - 2012-11-29 14:12

      Ryan you are just confirming the extention of ANC - Absolutely No Consequence.

  • Gerhard - 2012-11-29 12:03

    Is there even a single good thing the ANC goverment is competent of?

      asdhasgd - 2012-11-29 12:20


  • Desilusionada - 2012-11-29 12:04

    So it needed a court case to "prove" what common sense dictated. And this is the same person who was lauded by all and sundry for the sterling work she will do for Africa. Shame.....

  • ben.louw.5 - 2012-11-29 12:05

    China = Our government's new Baas

      philip.gray.10048 - 2012-11-29 12:25

      It seems that we are a Chinese territory with special powers like Hong Kong and Macau. Everyting China says jump the ANC asks how high must they must jump.

      Jeremy - 2012-11-29 12:32

      And of course, thanks to the flood of cheap Chinese imports, our entire textile industry has gone down the tubes! Another cock-up by our beloved government!

  • monique.jackson0 - 2012-11-29 12:05

    Government acts unlawfully. Full stop.

  • theo.martinez.980 - 2012-11-29 12:06

    oh Grand Master china, we obey you! We follow your instructions. Come and get our minerals. Please export your crap-quality goods to SA. Thank you for destroying our own textile industry. Grand Master China we adore your political model of no-media freedom/no-judicial independence/no democracy. Oh Grand Master China, we dream of being like you one day. Guide us!

      michele.holmes.1238 - 2012-11-29 12:13

      They did not destroy any of that stuff, they just took the opportunity offered to them by the ANC. The ANC is ultimately responsible for China's presence in South Africa.

      michele.holmes.1238 - 2012-11-29 12:15

      I wonder if the ANC realises that this is about to become re-colonialism with different coloured masters? Or perhaps they do know, and if the price is right for the handful who will benefit enormously, its ok to sell away independence.

      wicus.berg - 2012-11-29 12:42

      hehehe.. Honestly, why do we suck up to China? As you said, they have a very poort human rights record and people get hanged for stealing food! I for one dont want anything to do with China.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 12:43

      The Chinese aren't colonising anyone. They are putting their money on the table in exchange for resources, a normal process of trade, instead of pointing guns at the locals and demand that everything be given to them for free.

      ben.louw.5 - 2012-11-29 13:19

      fidel.mgoqi HAHAHA! You dont even see it.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 13:30

      Ben, you missed the main difference between the European and the Chinese behavior in African that it's not the Chinese intention to turn African countries into Chinese's overseas colonies. China only wants to trade with Africa, not make us fluent in Mandarin and/or make us Ph.D in Confucianism. The Chinese are not messing up with the souls and minds of Africans. China is about business not spreading communism or proselytising any form of religion or ideology. China is not trying to turn Africans into Chinese, or undermining African culture or traditions. China will be an economic leader and therefore diplomatically cannot be ignored, but is unlikely to be a rapacious colonial conqueror.

      raath - 2012-11-29 14:30

      @fidel - yeah, instead we have locals pointing guns at taxpayers and robbing them of what they have.

  • Erna - 2012-11-29 12:06

    Isn't that interesting?

  • Ven.saDhammananda - 2012-11-29 12:10

    The Dalai Lama is referred to His Holiness not MR

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-11-29 12:15

      Is he holy?

      ronald.stilianou - 2012-11-29 12:15

      And if so, why?

      mshiniboys - 2012-11-29 12:49

      Is it wrong in English to do that?

      alexandra.robertson.969 - 2012-11-29 12:57

      @Ronald - because his entire existence is dedicated to peace, his countrymen have been tortured and condemned by the Chinese and he still talks of peace and non violence.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2012-11-29 13:55

      Showerhead is the king of Nkandla

  • Daniel Mah - 2012-11-29 12:11

    ok -invite him on the next one then

  • tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-11-29 12:11

    Shame on you Government! You are hypocritical pawns of your newly self appointed colonial masters - the Chinese One of these days when your new friends have become your masters and they have taken all the jobs and resources, you will look back and wonder how you could have been so gullable! Remember that he who pays the piper calls the tune! Have a nice day my China!

      nic.nomicos.3 - 2012-11-29 12:46

      Agreed...the chinese have depleted their resources and are now looking at this country for more and that's all they are after.forget about them being your friends....

  • michael.abelheim - 2012-11-29 12:16

    I rememeber the games the Apartheid Government played with this type of thing. This amounts to Covert Censorship. This Governemnet makes no bones about "the legace of the past" but continues it in its own distorted way. WTF

      fiona.fraser.9847 - 2012-11-29 15:49

      Well said Michael. VERY SAD and very TRUE.

  • 0001000ghost - 2012-11-29 12:17

    And this same person is now the Chairperson of the African Union. She is Useless.

      llewellyn.slabbert1 - 2012-11-29 12:23


      Ta.Lepzen - 2012-11-29 12:28

      Check the name

  • piet.pompies.12 - 2012-11-29 12:25

    I still don't know why he applied for a visa. He could have fly to Zimbabwe and just walk over the border like everybody else is doing it. :-)

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-11-29 12:25

    All constitutional expects agree that the courts should keep away from political issues and government decisions. They should just focus on the rights of individuals that were violated. In this case there was no such violation because His Holiness was told that his application was not incomplete and needs further processing! Why can't many of the judges learn from Judge Davis of the Western Cape?

      richard.hipkin - 2012-11-29 12:38

      Eish, logic is missing..

      gerrit.v.heerden - 2012-11-29 13:18

      Section 19 of the Constitution-Political rights falls within Chapter 2 of the Constitution the Bill of Rights (individual and collective), so you are saying we should separate these two even though the Supreme Law of the land doesn't?? Sho hope you don not apply for the Bench soon.

      tiaan.vanderberg.75 - 2012-11-29 18:45

      Gerrit. Thank you my learned friend. Well put. That is exactly the point!

      siphom.mnguni - 2012-11-29 20:55

      There is a free small booklet which is available at the Constitutional Court. You need to read it at hour spare time to understand that Archbishop Desmond Tutu's freedom of association was violated when his visitor whom he has in invited was unlawfully and intentionally refused a visa because people were licking their Chinese masters' a$$es.

  • toni.k.mcquillen - 2012-11-29 12:27

    Why would anyone want to stop the Dalai Lama coming in the first place? he promotes peace for crying out loud, it is shocking that officals act like this, perhaps they are shamed of their own actions and so they should be!

  • Tiyani - 2012-11-29 12:28

    So the goverment broke the law for Zuma's professorship. They never seize to amaze me. Shame ANC! The bitter consiquence of cadre deployment.

  • Tiyani - 2012-11-29 12:30

    She should be so ashamed of her pity self

  • wendy.watson47 - 2012-11-29 12:34

    And those responsible were not a blank "home affairs" page - they were real people who should have consequences for an action which AGAIN made us look like fools to the rest of the world. Eish!

  • seath1 - 2012-11-29 12:34

    Lets hope it dose not happen again !!!

  • koos.hendriks.1 - 2012-11-29 12:34

    oh please.... who does anc act lawfully too? they cant even manage one of the provinces! gah!

  • andre.vandeventer.16 - 2012-11-29 12:35

    What is Tutu going to say about this? I'm waiting!

  • thabo.manganye - 2012-11-29 12:36

    This was after they got threats from China aka fong kongs . This government of ours is skating on thin ice

  • thabob.zumagabe - 2012-11-29 12:36

    Chinese language lesson 101 : Shi Laoban - which means "YES BOSS"

  • winifred.watson.9 - 2012-11-29 12:42

    Egg on their faces but somehow it does'nt seem to affect them. Shame is something the live quite comfortable with every day. Expect them to be upstanding is not what is in their organization,

  • jerrod.moodley - 2012-11-29 12:48

    Love it when people compare modern times to pre-94.....whats the difference? The difference is that if the majority of this country is unhappy with our government, they can change it...that's the difference.

  • thomas.g.loeser - 2012-11-29 12:58

    This my dear, appears to be the story of our lives,.... make a bad call, go to court, enrich legal teams, and have the right logical call made.....Incompetence and political bias is draining this country ( does e tolling ring a bell )

  • sparks.sanders - 2012-11-29 13:00

    China put pressure on Zuma and I doubt it is difficult to bribe or convince him. What terrorist act or threat could the Dalai Lama possible pose, come on!

      issy.monar - 2012-11-29 13:08

      Surely bribing and/or convincing him or any other ANC member won't b that difficult.

  • luzukotosh - 2012-11-29 13:02

    as anticipated

  • danie.malan - 2012-11-29 13:11

    So what now?

  • angela.nair.3 - 2012-11-29 13:11

    Mmmmmm kowtowing to the Chinese Masters - What danger was there from the Dalai Lama? It was done as a show for the Chinese who made it clear they did not want the Dalai Lama here? Let the new Colonisers - the Chinese - come, then we would wish we still had the British here - as it is the Chinese are sending the dregs of society to South Africa - like the English sent prisoners to Australia! Ever wondered how these smugglers get in here? Killing our rhinos, stealing our Perlemoen, opening their dens of vice, china malls that pay no taxes.....

  • fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 13:14

    One can't help when reading any article with China in it, that there is a sense of dread and foreboding. The South African government acted the way most countries would act when they are faced with difficult choices. It's called protecting your interests. We have a very important economic and a political alliance with China and there's no shame in being a junior partner in this alliance. This is how hardcore real politik is played out!

      gawie.gatvol - 2012-11-29 13:32

      what are you smoking mgiqi, he came to attend a birthday party and the incompotence of the cANCer just onced again was shown and defended by morons like you in order to hide the many shortcommings of an corrupt and disgusting party thats killing SA

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 13:54

      I'm not defending the ANC but merely pointing out how "real politik" is conducted. China will be an economic leader and therefore diplomatically cannot be ignored. All countries act to protect their interests and China's economic success is SA's interest, which is why Western Europe can ally itself with the "democracy loving" Saudis and Qataris.

  • machoene.kaizer - 2012-11-29 13:17

    What desmond tutu going 2 say about this?I'm waiting

  • almeleh - 2012-11-29 13:24

    JZ has a yellow stripe a mile wide down his back.

  • klipkop.degroote - 2012-11-29 13:24

    Of course they did and they support white genocide too. - 2012-11-29 13:35

      You also getting sick of farmer's getting killed.

  • phumi.ntlabati - 2012-11-29 13:29

    China is our biggest trading partner valued at R363bn. We cannot risk that just to please the interests of religious fanatics! We have stomachs to feed in this country! Government was doing this in our interests!

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 13:56

      Well said Phumi!

      fiona.fraser.9847 - 2012-11-29 15:58

      @Phumi. Yes they are our biggest trading partner, and yes we do have stomachs to feed. Most of the business is NOT owned by Government (only a small percentage), so why should we allow China to dectate whom we allow through our borders. As for the comment about religious fanatics... The Dalai Lama is in the same League as OUR BELOVED Madiba. A man of great wisdom, a man of peace and an international ambasador of Goodwill. What our government did brough shame on our entire country.

      fidel.mgoqi - 2012-11-29 17:10

      Fiona, it's called pragmatism! How many countries have diplomatic ties with Taiwan, and why not?

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-11-29 13:31

    So will Blade Nzimande and all other politicians with no integrity or idea call for it to be illegal to question governmental (read ANC) decisions? Will JZ (read idiot) call for court powers to be reduced with regard to government (read ANC) policy? I think that this sustained pressure by media, public protector, opposition parties, civil rights groups, business, foreign interests, etc is just what the doctor ordered. The ANC's shortcomings are becoming clear for all the world to see. It is also high-lighting major cracks within the ruling party and between the ruling party and its alliances. Cue the 2014 elections and I suspect that there will be huge gains for the opposition parties as ANC support continues to erode.

  • colin.spear - 2012-11-29 13:34

    and what now? They pay the costs and that's it? What are the consequences?

  • patsy.smith.125 - 2012-11-29 13:34

    And now Nkosazana Zuma is head of the AU.......God help Africa. AIDS first, then the Dalai Lama....what else that we haven't heard about???

  • reyno.engels - 2012-11-29 13:35

    Tibet is under Chinese oppression for a very long time and the ANC is in bed with China, so there was no way they would go against their Black Chinese partners, i mean it's just good business not to upset partners.

  • matsutle.aphane - 2012-11-29 13:36

    we were expecting that kind of judgedment against the ANC let goverment,,as always the opposition shame on u GUYZ(goverment) scadalas ass,,,,,!

  • rogerio.sequeira.37 - 2012-11-29 13:38

    When a government has to be told by the courts of the land not once, not twice, but numerous times EVERY SINGLE WEEK how to do their jobs then you know that the country is ALREADY a BANANA REPUBLIC, not on the way there. We are an absolute joke as a nation.

  • Simthembile Zembe - 2012-11-29 13:41

    Eish! This was as clear as a snow.

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-11-29 13:48

    And how many hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Rand did it costs to point out the obvious??? Lawyers contracted to government and the opposition parties are laughing all the way to the bank...because at the end of the day they the only people that win!!

  • phaldiemeyer - 2012-11-29 13:57

    The anc has adapted George Orwell's "Animal Farm" animals right charter as its own humans right charter fir this country...don't believe me?? Have a look and see the similarities!!

  • brettcch - 2012-11-29 14:00

    Does this make it official that President Zuma is a lackey for the Chinese government? Not very ambitious, but great for the pension fund

  • elizeoliviervanzyl - 2012-11-29 14:15

    A bit late for that is it not,