Govt 'dragging its feet' over Dalai Lama

2011-09-27 07:38

Johannesburg - Desmond Tutu on Monday accused the government of dragging its feet over the visa application of the Dalai Lama, who has been invited to attend the former archbishop's 80th birthday party.

"The only response to the letters received to date have been acknowledgements of receipt," said a statement by Tutu's office.

Tutu invited the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader and fellow Nobel Peace Prize laureate to give a lecture as part of his 80th birthday celebrations next month but officials have so far failed to react to the visa application.

The activist's birthday will also include a book launch on October 6 and a public church service followed by an invite-only picnic party on his actual birthday the next day.

"The lack of a decision on whether or not our government will allow His Holiness into the country is proving a major stumbling block for the organisers of the celebrations, including the inaugural Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture," said a letter to the deputy minister of foreign affairs by Desmond Tutu's Peace Centre.

The letter dated September 26 was the third addressed to Deputy Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Ebrahim Ebrahim since September 7.

In 2009, Tutu criticised a decision to bar the Dalai Lama from attending a peace conference in Johannesburg, with the government saying that it did not want to jeopardise relations with key trade partner China.

The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since 1959 when he fled an abortive uprising against Chinese rule in Tibet.

  • WaxinLyrical - 2011-09-27 07:48

    South Africa is subservient to the chinese, thats why they won't approve his visa, Our president lacks the cahoona's to tell China to take a long walk into a rice paddy! Sad when leaders that represent peace are treated this way..for the sake of money and power

      AMS-Dammer - 2011-09-27 08:01

      "Mothlanthe on State Visit to China" Like HELL... he has been summond To China.... to be told that the SA Govt are being like a NAUGHTY CHILD again... The old Dalai Lama will NOT BE GETTING HIS VISITORS VISA... WATCH THIS SPACE!!!!!

      therapist - 2011-09-27 08:18

      well, from a logical perspective, south africa at this point in time will need to tend to all their international relations. so give the man the visa and lick that chinese brown butter. better now than when we've turned into zimbabwe v2 - 2011-09-27 08:34

      Of course the anc will "drag their feet" in deciding to allow the Dalai Lama to visit BECAUSE he is a MAN OF PEACE! and NOT a DESPOTIC DICTATOR! We should know by now that the anc support the TYRANTS of the world!!!!

      GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:43

      @ mlh - you have hit the nail squarely on the head on that one!

      pietskiet - 2011-09-27 08:56

      Tutu, just take the wealth tax that you got from the whites and go and bribe an official to give your mate a visa.

      Tassenberg - 2011-09-27 09:24

      Yep our goverment has become the witch with a capital B of the Chinese, I wonder if old Zuma can still remember in 2004 when he said trade with China will create more jobs in South-Africa, yet about a year later in 2005 the textile industry lost about 35 000 jobs and that was just in 2005, due to cheap textile imports from China. Makes you think.

  • Slartibartfast - 2011-09-27 07:50

    Who does this man think he is? Really? .... sure ... he did a lot for this country, but he is still bound by the laws, red-tape and beurocracy like the rest of us. This sense of "entitlement" at all costs of our politicans, parliamentarians and so forth needs to come to an end! Brilliant example Arch, brilliant example for our kids!!

      Justin - 2011-09-27 08:10

      you missing the point. A leader of peace and moral standing is being denied entrace to our country not because the people don't want him here but because some dodgy politicians who have sold thier souls don't want to make thier keepers angry.

      Mike - 2011-09-27 08:36

      @Slartibartfast: You are completely way off the mark and your comment indicates your unjustified prejudice. A visa application was applied for through legitimate means, which all ordinary visitors are subject to yet as, if you read the article, any inquiries into the matter have been fruitless. Instead of 'by-passing' rules and regulations as many leaders do, this instance has gone 'by the book' I believe, and indeed, a good example Tutu sets.

      roboman1 - 2011-09-27 08:47

      Justin, an ex revolutionary is being denied access to SA in favour of our premier trading partner, China. Grow up, these are the realities of life

      roboman1 - 2011-09-27 08:51

      And I agree with you Slarti, who does the venerable Bishop actually think he is, its his 80th birthday party,a private function, for a man who struggled through the apartheid years in millionaire's row, Bishop court, now he thinks he has the right to mess with SA trade relations etc, if he loves the has been revolutionary from Tibet so much, then let him go visit there and stop wasting our state money. The poor need SA international trade more than one visit from a Tibetan monk

      whereu - 2011-09-27 09:04

      Gee, what's going on here? Do those who support the denial of this visa really think that the Chinese will throw their toys out of their cot because SA exercises a sovereign right to issue visas. If the answer is yes, I sincerely doubt the long term viability of such a fragile, one-sided trade relationship.

      bonny - 2011-09-27 09:15

      @whereu. Yes.

  • robin - 2011-09-27 07:51

    Can only looking after the "struggle chommies" interests again.

  • BigMoose - 2011-09-27 07:51

    Chinese kickbacks to the ANC are more important than Tutu's 80th birthday and the Dilly Llama.

      GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:46

      Not funny - the Dalai Llama probably has more brains and education in his little finger than you care to think of (a little respect goes a long way). However I do agree with you on the Chinese kickbacks (and in fact any other disgraceful kickbacks) that the ANC can get their grubby paws on ...

  • Robin7 - 2011-09-27 07:52

    Forget it Tutu, the Dalai Lama will not be granted a Visa. I'll bet everything that China have contacted Comrade Zuma ages ago and advised him of the consequences should the Dalai Lama set foot in South Africa. And the ANC thought the Chinese were bearing gifts... what a laugh. You'll soon learn.

  • AJS - 2011-09-27 07:52

    Yes he is bound by the red tape and incompetence as well isn't he

  • Ross - 2011-09-27 07:59

    They will drag their feet because their Bosses told them to do so.

  • simon - 2011-09-27 08:02

    How sad. Not even his own anc government cares two toots about this senile has-been Tutu.

      Bandit - 2011-09-27 08:29

      firstly simon - you are a dickwad. Second go and learn about the arch before you open your facecrack.

      Justin - 2011-09-27 11:25

      here here dickwad (like) douch (prefered)

  • Mart - 2011-09-27 08:04

    China is currently this governments 'paymaster'. Why else would they as individuals and collectively be so brash about what is going on in terms of corruption etc. It is a fact that the corruptibility of our nations leaders plays right into the Chinese plan of domination in this country, in fact the Chinese encourage it because it strengthens the strings they get to pull!

  • mSholozi - 2011-09-27 08:04

    you cannot say our govt is dragging feet, they have more important issues at hand, i dont know who is dala lama he is not one of our great leaders

      kent - 2011-09-27 08:08

      Because half of them are as uneducated as you are!

      JAY-SA - 2011-09-27 08:11

      why do you comment if you are clueless about the matter ?

      Ian - 2011-09-27 08:14

      get back to basic woodwork class malema ass licker

      50something - 2011-09-27 08:22

      OMW - Get educated. use Google if you have to or don't you know what Google is either - it's their 13th birthday today by the way, (Google, not the Dalai Lama). Have I confuse you now - wasn't too difficult was it, pretty much what China is doing to the ANC.

      Die Baas - 2011-09-27 08:23

      More important, yes, like figuring out yet another way to steal the taxes dumb-asses like you pay (or not); but at least honest South-Africans pay. They spend more money on publishing that they built another RDP house than on the house itself. Now you are saying we should leave matters of state to the state. We'd be happy to, if only they were good enough to attend to them every once in a while. The ANC, its corrupt policies and blatant racism scares me; but the amount of followers the party has, even-though the party so openly steals the money they promised to spend on improving their lives, their average intellect (rather lack of) and their unquestioning devotion to the ruling thugs and empty racist idealism terrifies me.

      Roundana - 2011-09-27 08:29

      hahahaaaaaa Msholozi why are you embarrassing yourself this way...yho!

      Nkhumise - 2011-09-27 08:30

      mSholozi,this convo is being held in a plane,ur screaming from a train....

      Tolerant - 2011-09-27 08:46

      SA Gov. is a puppet of China, no one can deny that.

      GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:48

      @mSholozi - once more no respect. The Dalai Llama has done more good in the world than any of your so called "great leaders" who are more interested in lining their pockets any which way they can!

      Totman - 2011-09-27 08:59

      You right. He is not one of our Big Leaders, but neither are the ones's from North Africa, South America, the East and some other African leaders. There is a reason why some people cling to them and there is a reason why people cling to the Dalai Lama. The fact remains that you have to start practicing saying "Baas China" There is a reason why only China has a problem that he visit countries and that they only make an issue of it where they are worried that Chinese influences can be at danger because they are not finishing sucking those countries dry yet. One bloodsucker get swap for another. Not because he is better, but because he is sharing with individuals. To stopped being a victim one must stop all "suppressors" and start doing something for yourself. Rather start doing. Stop talking, stealing and we will be halfway there. That counts for ALL South Africans.

  • Kevin - 2011-09-27 08:07

    Looks like South africa has been colonised again. All the Dalai Lama ever wanted for Tibet is the same right to self determination that the ANC wanted for South Africa.

      muk - 2011-09-27 08:13

      @Kevin. They HAVE colonised not only SA but the rest of Africa. Very soon they will be flexing their military might against India and USA. At least Obama had the b*alls to meet with the Dalai Lama. This is a very sad day 'cos we realise who our master really is.

  • Inhlanzi - 2011-09-27 08:08

    I'm confused, once more, doesn't the Bible say no tolerance for other religions, there's only one God, so why does Tutu want to entertain this spiritual leader?

      kent - 2011-09-27 08:12

      JAY-SA - 2011-09-27 08:14

      Because he has got brains and heart ... you get it ?

      Roundana - 2011-09-27 08:30

      I think it's best for you to stay confused!

      gobsmacked2 - 2011-09-27 08:55

      No Inhlanzi, I think you're thinking of that other book "Mein Kampf" or the other one, won't mention its name. The bible says 'love your fellow man', 'forgive and forget' 'treat others as you would be treated' and stuff like that.

      Totman - 2011-09-27 09:03

      He also said to embrace other believes and show them His way of doing to enlighten them Who I am and what I stand for.

  • Deborah Collett - 2011-09-27 08:12

    If anybody should understand, and abhor, oppression and imperialism, it's "our" South African government...yet we don't want to offend the Chinese...This man has dedicated his life to kindness, compassion, and the freedom of his people - sad to see that even the most ardent freedom fighters' principles and beliefs are for sale...well done comrades.

  • Ian - 2011-09-27 08:12

    what a freaking toss, first he comes up with his malema ass licking anti white yap yap yap, now he is talking about the dali lama, make up your mind tut tut, you either are a war mongering hateful racist or you are not, make up your racist mind, you cant have it both ways

  • Gerhard - 2011-09-27 08:14

    You guys better learn to say "Ja Baas" in Mandarin!!!!

      Mike - 2011-09-27 08:40

      ...and shop at Chinese Checkers

      GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:52

      @ Gerhard - touché. They better also learn to work harder and not be so demanding - the Chinese do not pay well. Some of the most intricate work is paid with a daily cup of rice, etc and they also do not believe in taking safety measures - so the mines will become a nightmare for NUM, et al.

  • CFerreira - 2011-09-27 08:17

    So dr Tutu, now you can also experience the incompetence of the very government you so dearly vote for election after election! We have to deal with this "feet dragging" every single day.

  • Kiljoy - 2011-09-27 08:18

    I could'nt agree more with the Arch,but as we all know there are financial/economical factors that are motivating the goverment i.e. Chinese investment oppertunities in SA.So at the end of the day,our goverment can not take the moral high ground,as "money talks & bull*&^% walks !"

      tootingdel - 2011-09-27 08:54

      But Chinese investment in SA isn't in our long term benefit. See what they are doing elsewhere in Africa. They want the minerals, when they have gone they will up and leave. Note the factories they have left empty in Lesotho and how they are destroying the country in the mining areas of Northern Zambia and DRC. They are the new colonisers of Africa and our governments are complicit in allowing this to happen.

  • ANC Comrade - 2011-09-27 08:19

    Ebrahim Ebrahim , so good they named him twice!

      gcr - 2011-09-27 08:48

      Yup his parents both stutter

      muti - 2011-09-27 09:39

      And he won't listen, you have to call him twice - oh, sorry, he DID hear the Chinese first time but is deaf to common reason.

  • allows - 2011-09-27 08:23

    Isn't this typical of our government? Cannot make a decision and only when it is too late do they react to try and put out the fires.

      Mart - 2011-09-27 09:30

      like their support for Gadaffi ...shot themselves in the foot with that one didn't they...wonder who else they can blame the mass grave on ?

  • Jackool - 2011-09-27 08:23

    Two faced bigot government of SouthAfrica likes to shout Apartheid but supports Chinese oppression in Tibet.

      Trxy - 2011-09-27 08:57

      most of the ANC goverment lived in exile. Just becuase the Dalai Lama does, doesn't mean he should do so for life? How about forcing China accept him, like the world did to the Apartheid government?

  • Davearch - 2011-09-27 08:24

    Leave the whites alone and rather worry about your crooked mates in GOVERNMENT @!!!

  • jellyass.malema - 2011-09-27 08:26

    Tutu should go to a retirement home and shut up, he is showing signs of dimentsia!

  • Guillermo - 2011-09-27 08:27

    And what do u expect from a government that supports criminal organizations & dictators like hammas,mugabe, assad & gadaffi? (note their names have been writen in lower case, as it should be 4 people like them).The Dalai Lama is not welcome, but gadaffi is to take asylum in this country!...& our taxpayers money is used for zuma + friends to fly to Lybia to try to safe his neck while peole die in our hospitals due to the lack of medicine & doctors. Sometimes I wonder if is not the time for an "African spring".

      arthur.amgen - 2011-09-27 08:31

      Who supported Mugabe in the 70,s? China. Who supported the ANC in the 80,s. China? It is pay back time. China will crucify Africa.

  • Rich - 2011-09-27 08:27

    Whose paying for this birthday bash, and all the attendant costs, I certainly hope that the Taxpayer is not being milked again !!!

      Ian - 2011-09-27 08:41

      dont be ridiculous, of cos the tax payer will pay for it, once they send us packing and there no more whitey taxes for there parties , maybe then it will sink in, then again maybe not, theres truly nothing between those fat ears

      Newsferret - 2011-09-27 10:31

      I assume the TUTU Foundation will foot the bill. The Arch I think is no longer welcome in Tuinhuys.

  • Bandit - 2011-09-27 08:27


  • letsee - 2011-09-27 08:29

    China is colonizing Africa for food and minerals. The new Zambia President has relized that and yet South Africa puts its "pants down" for China. The Western World of imperialists are the "kids in the block" compared with China but as always Africa can't forecast the future till it arrives.

      50something - 2011-09-27 08:35

      So frieking true - they can't forcast the future, just watching it wooshing past and saying - what did we miss?

  • Martin - 2011-09-27 08:31

    Imagine the hissy fit the ANC would have thrown if their terrorists were denied visas to the West in the old days. Bloody hypocrites!

  • Not Black - 2011-09-27 08:33

    Shocking to see TUTU only now seeing the TWO FACED POLICIES of the very same Cronies that he supported. The ANC is a DISGRACE to all the Citizens of SA that voted them in power. Added to this, what gives TUTU the right to have Birthday Bash? I wonder if us taxpayers are to foot the bill? If not, then too TUTU should be using such funds to Uplift the poor and needy that any of his Cronies or even the Jet Setting Dalai Lama. Shame on you TUTU, Where are your Morals? I Rest my Case : Ultimately it seems he too has Boarded the Gravy Train.

  • Lypto - 2011-09-27 08:33

    Our Governement are spineless hypocrits!!!! You have a occupied coutry undergoing cultural genocide, with its political and spirtual leader lobbying for international awareness of the atrocities currently taking place in Tibet!! What does our Government do??? Blind Eye....taking the offical no comment position!!! This is a direct insult to our SA struggle history!! Shame on us!!!

  • Craig - 2011-09-27 08:34

    How rude of the government to interfere with Tutu's birthday plans??!!! How rude!! How on earth can this be considered NEWS???????

  • sizwemqobo - 2011-09-27 08:40

    Our liberation struggle was once referred to as a terrorist endeavour in some world capital cities, the Tibets are going through the same. Unfortunately we are now one of those capital cities that now demonise the efforts to liberate Tibet.

  • GypseyAnn - 2011-09-27 08:42

    This is amazing! Our government has a problem with issuing a visa to a man of peace, but will gladly welcome despots such as Mugabe and others with open arms.

  • Gerhard - 2011-09-27 08:42

    The ANC is an excuse for a goverment. Serious non-racial changes need to be made asap otherwise we all will sink into poverty, corruption, fraud, crime, lack of schooling, policing etc etc while the goverment fat cats get richer by the day. Wake up people before it is too late

  • Clive - 2011-09-27 08:43

    This government drags its feet over everything - except, of course, legislation disbanding the Scorpions.

  • Gibbonater - 2011-09-27 08:47

    The new colonianial masters are slowley starting to dictate what Africa can and cant do. Africa will always be subserviant. This time however the new masters are not going to play games. The chinese excecute more people than the rest of the world combined and flood Africa with cheap imports. Think of our clothing and textile industry. Mothlante was summoned and like a naughty boy he ran to his new masters to grovel and give a humble apology to his new BAAS.

  • CraigColinRoyMcLeod - 2011-09-27 08:48

    The chinese don't want us to show any support for the dalai lama, and since they have negotiated to use the black population as slave labour for the next 20 years, South Africa will do what ever they want, Shi Mr Chinese Man what ever you want, shi shi, xie xie for the bribes we will keep our population as sweat labour for you shi shi.

  • tootingdel - 2011-09-27 08:49

    Unfortunately many menbers of this Government seem unable to do anything in a timely or correct fashion - it only seems able to make a decision quickly when it involves self-protection from criminal activies or is rushing to the feeding trough to pad out personal bank balances. Why can't it see the folly of it's ways??

  • Ben - 2011-09-27 08:55

    Meet your new masters Africa. Hahahaha!!! Have to give it to China though.... They played their card perfectly. Slow and under the radar... They own Africa and have so much of the US' dollars. This whole global finance crisis... China's like "What Crisis?"

  • Not Black - 2011-09-27 09:05

    Ebrahim Ebrahim Tladi Tladi Moegeng Moegeng Bafana Bafana. Can you see the common denominator? Well, you have got to F...... tell them everything TWICE. I REST MY CASE.

      Sam - 2011-09-27 09:11


  • Sam - 2011-09-27 09:09

    We are scared of China my man.... The new master doesn't like him

  • MAWEMAWE - 2011-09-27 09:10

    if tutu want to celebrate his birthday with dalai lama they must just go & do it in dalai lama's house.

  • Janine - 2011-09-27 09:12

    We cannot let this man in! What if he brings (gasp) PEACE! What if he meets Julius and turns him from a rabid ferret into a pussycat? Think how much damage he could do going around and spreading peace? Where would it end. Oh, the horror.

  • CapeTownJunk - 2011-09-27 09:21

    I know there's obviously bigger issues at stake, but getting upset because someone can't come to your birthday party? That's something you should outgrow by the time you're 8 years old.

  • africanwolf - 2011-09-27 09:23

    Why not make a referendum and ask all South Africans, if they want the Dalai Lama to visit or not. like it supposed to be, in true democracy instead of asking the Chinese

  • Colin Dovey - 2011-09-27 09:29

    ANC support: 1. Gadaffi 2. Mugabe 3. Castro 4. Abbas - any more?

      Not Black - 2011-09-27 09:41

      Colin, You forgot Chavez, The Military Regime of Burma, King Mswati of Swazi, The resident ex Pres of Haiti, Kenneth Kaunda, ...... Join the ANC, Get a Membership Card, and Brush Shoulders with DICTATORS.

  • RSA 2010 - 2011-09-27 09:34

    It really is sad what these idiots in the ANC are doing to our country and where they are leading us and all the while their sheep bleat on blindly. Some of the comments on this story show just how the masses can see no wrong. If the rest of the world had the same attitude (He is not one of our leaders, who is this man etc) towards apartheid in the 70's and 80's, SA would still be run by the Nats today. It was only with the support of the outside world that apartheid was beaten, the ANC were only a part of that "struggle" despite what they and their followers now like to believe. Can't any of the sheep see how they are being used by their new Chinese masters. You cannot fix stupid.

  • Badballie - 2011-09-27 09:39

    Give them a chance, by now everyone knows the ANC has to listen for iuts Chinese masters voice before they make a decision.

  • Marc - 2011-09-27 09:46

    The ruling ANC junta continue to pussyfoot over the Dalai Lama as approving his status would make the Chinese Tiger cross. The fact that China illegally occupies Tibet and represses that free nation as a foreign occupier is barely mentioned - well who cares. After all, it yellow repressing... or is it suppressing... or is it oppressing, any way, yellow on yellow and no one gives a toss about that. The non-democratic communist regime of China can go take hike as far as am concerned. I can manage without their Cherys and crummy tee shirts.

  • simon van der stel - 2011-09-27 09:51

    South Africa became a toilet brush for China... Screw the china imports and slave labour, make use of our local Trade and Industry. Bloody Agents...!!!

  • IC1 - 2011-09-27 09:51

    President Michael Sata of Zambia isn't scared to tell China where to get off, so why is Zuma (LOL, I know)

      Not Black - 2011-09-27 10:03

      Because he has NOT YET received an Underhand Gift to also Pillage the whatever left wealth of Zambia. Mate, ALL african leaders WILL Eventually succumb to the CHINESE. Read the 2 books written by Moeletsi Mbeki on Africa, it's leaders and how eventually they all get Corrupt. I Rest My case.