SCA to hear Dalai Lama case

2012-11-09 15:38

Johannesburg - The Supreme Court of Appeal will hear an application by the IFP and Cope relating to whether it was unconstitutional and unlawful for the department home affairs to turn down a visa for the Dalai Lama, the IFP said on Friday.

"Because of its absurdity, the Dalai Lama case brings to the fore the extent to which our ruling class is beheld to the Chinese government," IFP justice spokesperson Mario Oriani-Ambrosini said in a statement.

"Government's lawyers had argued in their papers that the refusal to grant a visa is justified by our government's intention not to displease the Chinese government," he said.

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is both the head of state and the spiritual leader of Tibet.

He has won many awards, including the Nobel Peace Prize, for promoting the cause of Tibet and is welcome everywhere except in South Africa and China.

China invaded Tibet in 1950 and has occupied it since.

The Dalai Lama is a long-time friend of former president Nelson Mandela, Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu, Buthelezi and former president FW De Klerk, who was the last president of the country in the apartheid-era.

"What government lawyers have pleaded in their papers before the court may represent the views of the ruling elite, but surely not the view of the South African people, and this questions the extent to which in this instance the South African government is a representative of the South African people, or of its Chinese friends and allies," said Oriani-Ambrosini.

The case is expected to begin in Bloemfontein at 09:30 on Monday.

It was last heard in the Western Cape High Court, which dismissed with costs an application on whether it was constitutional for the government not to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama last year.

The Dalai Lama cancelled a trip to South Africa to attend Tutu's 80th birthday on 4 October. Tutu was outraged and said the government was worse than that during apartheid.

At the time, the court found that the issue was moot because the Dalai Lama cancelled his application and the party had already been held.

Buthelezi has invited the Dalai Lama to visit the country this year.

  • Eterni80 - 2012-11-09 16:12

    no wonder the courts take so long to process/try cases, the system is clogged with unnecessary cases like this. SA does what CHINA says, my china.

  • Msika - 2012-11-09 16:23

    Come on you guys, grow up!! Is this really necessary now, wasting state resources, that could be better utilised for other serious cases?

      mark.richardson.3914207 - 2012-11-09 20:04

      This is only for the personal gain and interests of the socio communist inspired regime governing the country. You probably find each time they say no they get a kick back of some sorts .

  • mmoledis - 2012-11-09 16:50

    Interests of the country comes first before an individual, if for him not entering the country was for the benefit of this countries interests so be it.

      kitty2wp - 2012-11-09 17:32

      what benefit??? he comes in Peace - you know the opposite of violence and hate!!!!

  • mmoledis - 2012-11-09 17:00

    For the sake of the countries interests if denying him a visa was good, so be it because interests of country comes first before an individual.

  • theMichaelHawthorne - 2012-11-09 17:18

    Why why why.... why not grant him a visa... yet they would allow a terrorist like obama to visit...

  • kitty2wp - 2012-11-09 17:32

    who knew that South Africa would not allow a man representing "Peace and Non Violence" would not be allowed into our country. The fear that some good might rub off scares some people. This is because ANC don't want to get on wrong side of their Chinese communist brothers!!!!

  • kitty2wp - 2012-11-09 17:34

    Tutu is very very very correct!!!!

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