Dalai Lama would've received visa - Motlanthe

2011-10-05 11:30

Johannesburg - The government would have granted the Dalai Lama a visa to visit the country if he hadn't cancelled his trip, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe was reported to have said on Wednesday.

"Of course, he has been here before, I don't see why it should be an issue at all," Motlanthe told The Star newspaper.

The country denied it was influenced by China over issuing a visa to the Tibetan spiritual leader after Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu called authorities worse than the apartheid government for dithering on the issue.

"South Africa ... is a sovereign country. We make decisions based on our domestic interest," foreign affairs spokesperson Clayson Monyela told Talk Radio 702.

"We are not bullied, we are not pressured, we are not influenced by anybody in making decisions."

Tutu outburst

The Dalai Lama was due to leave Thursday to attend the 80th birthday celebrations of Tutu, his longtime friend and fellow Nobel Peace laureate, but cancelled the trip on Monday as his visa had not been granted.

Tutu reacted by lambasting President Jacob Zuma's government in a nationally televised news conference, threatening to pray for the downfall of the ANC.

"Hey Mr Zuma, you and your government don't represent me. You represent your own interests," said Tutu who invited the Tibetan to give an inaugural peace lecture.

"I am warning you, one day we will start praying for the defeat of the ANC government. You are disgraceful. I want to warn you, you are behaving in a way that is totally at variance with the things for which we stood," he said.

Monyela emphasised that the Dalai Lama was not refused a visa.

"We were still subjecting this application to the application processes when he took the decision to cancel," he said.

"The high commission in New Delhi, India, was actually going to communicate with him yesterday evening or this morning Indian time in terms of the feedback from the application processes."

The visa application process took time because of the logistics involved in such a high-profile visit, Monyela added.

Lack of moral fibre
But the daily newspaper Business Day said "no one is fooled" by the official response.

"Is it really in SA’s interests to send a message to the world that our principles are up for sale to the highest bidder?" it asked in its editorial.

The Cape Times said the state's "disingenuous responses ... serve as the flimsiest of fig leaves: the truth is that it chose not to offend China, which regards the Dalai Lama as an enemy."

"This is beyond just disappointing: it suggests a lack of moral fibre and an ineptness in the foreign policy arena."

The Times warned of "immeasurable" damage to South Africa's reputation.

"How do we begin to negate the perception that our autonomy is being threatened by the relationships we want to foster with trading partners such as China?" it asked.

"Even if the government denies being influenced by China, is there anyone out there who will believe it?"

Meanwhile the country's National Interfaith Council called on the government "not to sacrifice important values that we as South Africans are known for, for international trade," referring to biggest trade partner China.

The University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, where the Dalai Lama would have given a lecture, will stage a protest march on Wednesday over the visa debacle, it said.

  • Matt :-) - 2011-10-05 11:34

    All together now... BS !!! Visa for visiting doesn't take over a month! My temp residence took 6 weeks, permanent one 4 months - so how can a holiday visa take over a month?! (from many countries you simply arrive in SA and get it over the counter!)

      texx - 2011-10-05 11:52

      The ANC state that he would have received his visa if he had not cancelled it....but he's not travelling alone obviously, do you really think they were going to grant the rest of his entourage with visa's in time?? I think not!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Yuck - 2011-10-05 12:12

      Hier, vat n boggel..

      Linus - 2011-10-05 12:13

      Tata - Tutu. You should kowtow and say dankie my baas... Funny how the Tutu does not say one word about other contentious matters like "shoot the boer" etc; calls for extra tax on whites but when he does not get his way he throws his toys and threatens government. Self serving if you ask me.

      willieman - 2011-10-05 12:15

      Motlanthe is one of the cowards in the anc,he is always checking which side is the bread buttered---BIG SNAKE

      Currie_Mafia - 2011-10-05 12:17

      I had all 6 numbers for last week's lotto but didn't take it....too late now :(

      sabc10 - 2011-10-05 12:18

      @christo smit...juvenile like you two lovely children...growup.. jy vol kak...

      Honestly - 2011-10-05 12:19

      CR@P Motlanthe. You speak with forked tongue

      I Are Bender - 2011-10-05 12:20

      I suppose that they would not have granted him his VISA if he was still coming then.

      cliffarc - 2011-10-05 12:22

      - Shove your visa Anc - you are a disgrace to the world.

      MWF - 2011-10-05 12:23

      Lol, all of a sudden AFTER THE TRIP WAS CANCELLED "of course he would have got the visa" ... what total BS. They just caught a fright when TuTu threw his toys... they know how many votes TuTu could cost them.

      ron.lawrance - 2011-10-05 12:29

      Yes. Visitors visa should take 1 week at the most. As you said, what BS

      O-Kay - 2011-10-05 12:30

      The Dalai Lama wanted to attend his friend Desmond Tutu's birthday celebrations - MR MOTLANTHE - that would be in two (yes 2) days time. So when exactly were you going to approve the Visa???? Oooohhhh, next week or the one after it!!!! Makes sense (for the ANC)

      Bravo - 2011-10-05 12:44

      Its all very well saying he would have got a visa when the fellow said he ran out of time to plan the trip and therefore had to cancel. Its another example of head in the sand posturing by an inept and useless government

      Neutkraker - 2011-10-05 12:44

      How convenient that he cancelled his trip! At the rate you were going Mr Mothlante, he would have been granted his visum post the birthday-date. And the ANC still believes everyone in this country and the rest of the world are idiots! I agree with you Matt. Absolute B.S!!!!

      TGSA - 2011-10-05 12:48

      You are lucky that your temp renewal only took six weeks, mine takes generally three months... And in any NORMAL COUNTRY, one would get permanent residency after say 7 years or so, but not in RSA after 13 years... Yes, the story is absolute BS, I am rather disappointed with Deputy President Motlanthe, I was hoping he was 'different' and was already looking forward for him taking over from the 'incompetent one...'!

      Christo - 2011-10-05 12:48

      @Matt, Why did they take down my Chinese speaking info

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-05 12:51

      @ Christo - mine too! I think the strict moderator is on duty today...

      Politicallycorrect - 2011-10-05 13:15


      Tinkie - 2011-10-05 13:16

      In this morning's Daily Dispatch - "However, the Daily Dispatch has learned that the government was to inform him yesterday that his application had been denied." Mmmm, I think that the Government is just trying to save face. Pity the DL cancelled his trip. I would have liked to see what would have happened. I am inclined believe the Daily Dispatch report a lot more than I believe the two-faced idiots in government!!!

      Persona_non_grata - 2011-10-05 13:20

      Not if the ANC can stop Dalai Lama from comming here and I think it was a good Idea Considering that it is Buddhism!

      Politicallycorrect - 2011-10-05 13:29

      And now we know why Cindy Lauper wrote "It's my Party and I'l Cry If I Want to". She wrote it for the Arch! A bit of tongue in cheek. On the other hand the ANC would not really know how to handle anything like issueing a visa as the one hand does not know what the other hand is doing!

      boerekanon - 2011-10-05 13:55

      Right!!! How convenient to now say yeah he would have gotten one after the fact. What a bunch of tools.

      eric.vanvuuren - 2011-10-05 14:09

      Dear 'Mr Sensor man' please refrain yourself from, deleting comment that is free, fare and found in fact. This game is no fun if you use your own lacing intelligence to run a public forum and not able to read properly. “Please” relate above mentioned too to them idiots you work with.

      York Hunt - 2011-10-05 14:51

      He should have just gone to Zimbabwe and then walked across...

      Its_not_fair - 2011-10-05 14:52

      I earlier said and I repeat. I did not believe that Jan van Riebeek bought the land for a mirror. Now I do. SA is being bough for cheap takkies.

      Together - 2011-10-05 15:50

      So, send him one - extend a courtesy visa to him today.

      Denise - 2011-10-05 17:19

      Much of the ANC's massive & overwhelming expenditure on the last election campaign originated from China. The Chinese Communist Party heavily subsidised and financed the ANC's 2009 election campaign. One result has been the serial neglect by the ANC government of SA's national interests in foreign policy (not to mention human rights considerations) as its first priority has always been to repay its main funders with favours. Over the past 17 years the ANC has been in hock to the regimes of Nigeria, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Libya, China & Taiwan. Zuma has successfully been using his visits overseas to do some fund raising on the side. This may already be compromising the ability of SA to pursue its own interests, free of external interference. If the Chinese Communist Party did help to pay for the ANC's 2009 election campaign - the obvious question is whether this underpinned the government's otherwise inexplicable decision to ban Tibet's Dalai Lama from entering the country?

      Ryan - 2011-10-06 08:12

      and here is supposed to be an honorable man (and one of the best the ANC has got) in Motlanthe who is lying to the SA public. so even Motlanthe sinks in my book. people can get visas in a few days, yet its taken the government weeks for the Dalai Lama. Tutu's birthday is on the weekend, did the government want to give the visa after that ???? maybe thats what they would have done, because then they knew he would not come anymore. but no, the government had no intention of having the Dalai Lama visit SA under their and China's watch.

      Duane277 - 2011-10-06 09:23

      I don't care what anyone says, its right what the ANC did! Our economic relationship with china is MUCH more important that allowing one guy to attend another guys birthday party (that's essentially what it boils down to). Why is an Anglican Archbishop inviting the world's biggest Buddhist to his birthday anyway? That's like the pope inviting some top ranking Rabbi to his party. #MakesNoSense. If you think about it, they are probably not even big mates anyway, its just one high profile personality inviting another high profile personality to a party. Imagine how everyone would bitch and complain about the ANC if the Dalai Lama did come & China refused to trade with us, losing billions of Rands for our economy? I'm a DA man and don't often agree with the ANC but in this case they are right.

      4b6 - 2011-10-06 20:34

      @Duane277 China is never going to damage it trade relations with Africa over a visit by the DL. China has growing social unrest at home, largely unreported due to press restirctions, and it desperately needs Africas resources for its own benefit. If you want a good lowdown read the editorial on the Business Day website "Dalai Lama debacle not in SA's interests". YOu will understand thta our trade with China is not a bed of roses and has its own downsides. The DL should be seen as a friend of SA who supported opposition to apartheid and has known Tutu for decades. But instead we dump him and keep dictator friends like Mugabe and Gaddafi.

      The Patriot - 2011-10-07 10:47

      @ Duane277, SA does not need to trade with China, never did in the past as we traded with Taiwan. China has destroyed our clothing industry and cost us thousands of jobs with more to come. By the way, the Pope regularly hosts the Rabbies and Buddhists in numerous occasions, so there's nothing new their, only new to you.

  • Willie_G - 2011-10-05 11:34

    Would have, Could have, Should have.. Like they say.. Spyt kom te laat!

      SaintBruce - 2011-10-05 12:05

      Dear Mr Mothlante - you and the Dept. of Hmoe Affiars have just shown the citizens of SA and the World what the intentions of the PIB (Information / secrecy Bill) is designed to do! Classify, delay, no comment, can't comment, won't comment. You know very well that to book a flight, arrange personal security (The Dalai Lama is a political leader in forced exile), cannot happen in one or two days for this Statesman ( you just visited China so you know the drill, Sir). The lenght of delay was not 'accidental' but quite deliberate. Say all you like, we DO KNOW how you have lied to your citizens in the past and now your lips are moving you are doing it again! With all due respect, grow a spine, Sir!

      Slartibartfast - 2011-10-05 12:19

      disingenuous INDEED!! Whaaaa haaa haaaaa haa ha!! The more they speak, the more stupidity reigns!

      kilo39 - 2011-10-05 12:55


  • JMan - 2011-10-05 11:36

    Too little too late...

  • RVQ - 2011-10-05 11:36

    Action > Words, how about you give him the VISA anyways

      Civil_Rights - 2011-10-05 11:57

      The Dalai Lama is heading for the boarder fence as we speak. He will be in Hillbrow in nor time. There was also a delay in issuing our government with a fully functional cranium cavity. Their brains should be here in a couple of decades.

      Pencilgraffiti - 2011-10-05 14:11

      This is what scares me about Motlanthe - He might be the next President yet he has no issue directly and obviously lying and to the people.

  • CT - 2011-10-05 11:36

    And if you believe this you are as dumb as Malema.

      Taboe - 2011-10-05 11:54

      If you believe Motlanthe saying the ANC wanted to give the Dalai Lama a visa, then you can also believe that Malema likes white people! Heh He! What a joke? Think we are idiots

      allie - 2011-10-05 12:19

      I don`t care how much you like me now,i will never sleep with you Jularse

      IandI - 2011-10-05 12:39

      Malema quote "Motlanthe is brilliant! I cannot understand a word of what he is saying" hehehee.Animal Farm

  • Bored - 2011-10-05 11:36

    Too late. The government had 2 months to make a decision! And they only say now that he would've received the VISA after the harsh criticism of the government.... What a pathetic way hiding the truth about their own patheticness... Too late!

      JJ - 2011-10-05 12:19

      It is because the Dalai Lama is doing it wrong - he should have just first gone to Zimbabwe & then just cross over the border into South much easier, less paperwork, less hassle....

  • The_Librarian2 - 2011-10-05 11:36

    Excuses, excuses.

  • 4b6 - 2011-10-05 11:36

    They would say that now wouldn't they! These people have absolutely no shame! Well go on, I dare you.. issue it... he still has time to make it to the party. They get more chaotic by the day...

  • Adrian - 2011-10-05 11:37

    Your trouble is , you think all South Africans are as stupid as you and your supporters are. God help Africa - they can't.

  • Darren - 2011-10-05 11:37

    Ok so if the Dalai Lama were to change his mind in the course of the day, the South Afican Goverment would issue him with a visa? He was to only arrive tomorrow.

      1Il_b3_b@ck - 2011-10-05 13:14

      They would just say the previous application was cancelled and he would have to apply anew.

  • juan - 2011-10-05 11:38

    yeah right! Then tell him we have his VISA ready and for the inconvenience we will organize his flights. We as tax payers will pay for that...It will be worth every cent.

  • Caryn Lacey - 2011-10-05 11:39

    Very easy to claim this AFTER the fact, government thinks we are all stupid...

  • Matt :-) - 2011-10-05 11:39 Interesting... if you need to apply for a tourist visa (many nationals don't): 1) Although the minimum processing time is 3 days, nationals applying for a visa are advised to apply up to 10 weeks before their departure date. 2) Visitors should be of sound mind and body. (sound body - does this exclude disabled people?)

  • DW - 2011-10-05 11:39

    "Of course, he has been here before, I don't see why it should be an issue at all," Our point exactly Mr Motlanthe. So why was his visa rejected last year?

      daaivark - 2011-10-05 12:10

      You really do think we are a nation of dunces. Collective amnesia going on there at Luthuli House, Bra Motlanthe? I once had a modicum of respect for you, at least, but this attempt at a fast one has done away with that. Your party is going to lose a lot of votes through this pathetic debacle. Thank heaven for that. We wanted liberation, not a change of bully-boys. Dim ones at that.

  • letsee - 2011-10-05 11:40

    So why such a long time to decide something that takes 1 minute? Was the ANC government checking his criminal record? Bank funds? or what? The ANC government was playing the most stupid game and lost BIG. The ANC looks stupid to the world and the South Africans. We need professional politicians in the government.

  • bonny - 2011-10-05 11:40

    What a crock... Motlanthe can't even fib convincingly..

  • Spydr - 2011-10-05 11:40

    Please Dalai Lama, call their bluff! Tell them the Arch has pleaded with you to come and you've now reconsidered. You will be here - they can give you your visa ....!!!

      Dave - 2011-10-05 13:16

      I like!

      daaivark - 2011-10-05 13:17

      That would be so cool, though of course they won't deliver the goods anyway. But the man has dignity. Something our lot wouldn't recognise if it hit them in the face.

  • NoKaK - 2011-10-05 11:41

    What a load of KAK!!!! Do these politicians really think we are that STUPID?? Kiss my very wonderful WHITE ass with that BS speaking mouth of yours!!!!

  • proudandpink - 2011-10-05 11:42

    What absolute BS! The application was made in August and if it was going to be granted, what was the delay all about? ANCriminals are LIARS!!!!! But even worse than knowing what liars they are, is the fact that they think the public is too stupid to see their lies. Disgusting!

  • Taboe - 2011-10-05 11:42

    And Motlanthe is now also reverting to ANC lies. It seems more-and-more that he is no different from the rest!

  • Mark Fysh - 2011-10-05 11:42

    What a bare-faced liar you are Kgalema Motlanthe! You have smeared your reputation across the World-Press

      Mario - 2011-10-05 11:46

      Mark, he is your next President. Watch this space and hold on for an even more bumpy ride.

  • Coquine - 2011-10-05 11:43

    This reporting is atrociously incorrect! Motlanthe did not say the visa would be granted, he said the decision would be advised.

  • farmworker - 2011-10-05 11:43

    Did he cancel his VISA Application or the visit because of the delay in issuing it. If it was gonna be approve I suggest you approve it today and then send a presidential Jet to go and fetch this Guy, I am sure he would still come because he does not look like an arrogant man(he bows to everyone)

  • Seven9 - 2011-10-05 11:44

    hahahahah, too little too late Mr future president! You should have stood up earlier. Pie in your face :)

  • EishPasteSarmi - 2011-10-05 11:44

    The anc cocked this one up.... now we all pray for the anc to topple!

  • EishPasteSarmi - 2011-10-05 11:44

    The anc cocked this one up.... now we all pray for the anc to topple!

      Alan - 2011-10-05 12:42

      Even without prayer - the ANC is self destructing. Poor Nelson must be spinning in his bed at the sad sight of SA's politics today.

  • jacques - 2011-10-05 11:44

    Mothlante, you are trying to cover your arse! Do you think we are idiots??

  • Met - 2011-10-05 11:45

    The regime must not make even bigger fools of themselves

      Frikkie - 2011-10-05 12:17

      Too little too late

  • Barryml - 2011-10-05 11:46

    The horse has bolted, now they want to close the door. The ANC are a buch of idiotic fools

  • PB - 2011-10-05 11:47

    You don't really think we'd fall for that Kgalema? You knew he would have to get to the point where it would be too late to carry on with the travel arrangements, which would then give you the excuse that HE cancelled, not you. We all knew that this was exactly the way you chinese-puppets were going to react. DISGUSTING

  • Freddie One - 2011-10-05 11:47

    So which civil servants are going to be fired for being incapable of processing a simple visa request in a reasonable time?

      Parko - 2011-10-05 11:54

      Exactly - fire the civil servant responsible to PROVE to us you are not China's Bum Boy

  • Scarlett82 - 2011-10-05 11:47

    How the Hell can we beleive you !!!!!! How the Hell can we beleive you !!!!!!

  • lenhard1984 - 2011-10-05 11:47

    would have could have should have!

  • Colin - 2011-10-05 11:48

    This gets more and more embarrassing!!

  • Mark Haupt - 2011-10-05 11:48

    Dear Mr motlanthe, please look up the word 'fudging', it'll both give you an idea of what you're doing and show you that we know what you're doing. As Abraham Lincoln once famously said, "You can fool all the people some of the time and some of the people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time". You and your government have accomplished the first 2 in the past 17 years but the times they are a-changing and you'll not accomplish the last, info bill or no info bill. Your time is done, move on.

      Zee - 2011-10-05 11:49

      Great Dylan references! Love it! The ANC truly is a cancer in this country...

  • Bart Zimzon - 2011-10-05 11:48

    Dear Dolly Lamy, your visa will be ready tomorrow, Thursday, at arrival in Johannesburg Airport. yours, The Moth.

      texx - 2011-10-05 12:54

      Are you trying to be funny?? I think you disrespectful

  • Suspook - 2011-10-05 11:49

    Oh really? Thats why he still has no Visa 2 DAYS before he was to fly over? Ha! Not buying it, deceivers.

  • Jaded - 2011-10-05 11:49

    Lies! Lies! Lies! Is there no depth that our 'beloved government' will not sink to? Disgusting!

  • Tassenberg - 2011-10-05 11:49

    Yes, but he doesn't mention on which date they would've given the visa. Just say it, you hoped that he cancelled the trip, so you could use that to your advantage.

  • gregory.f.dean - 2011-10-05 11:50

    If he was going to receive the Visa why was the decision/issuing not done earlier. Great publicity (negative) for SA

  • daaivark - 2011-10-05 11:50

    HA HA HA HA HA HA HA I KNEW THIS WAS HOW YOU ARE GOING TO PLAY IT! What do you take people for? Donkeys? It took less time to get a residency permit for a Zimbabwean recently. Look guys. We all know that politicians lie as a matter of course. That is what they do for a living. But most at least do a decent job of it. Even swivel-eyed Ms Duarte would have tried a less ridiculous angle.

      Matt :-) - 2011-10-05 13:37

      They take us for pigs, Daaivark ;-)

      daaivark - 2011-10-05 15:03

      Nah, Matt. Pigs are way too clever. Very intelligent animals.

  • Nesomaniac - 2011-10-05 11:51

    What an anal orifice! Does he really think anyone believes his cocked-up story?

  • Evan - 2011-10-05 11:51

    How convenient, would have! That really means nothing, in hindsight, would have... but did not

  • jamesrwicks - 2011-10-05 11:51

    I call BULLS**T!!!

  • Grb - 2011-10-05 11:52

    ANC/Govt should pay for a charter Jet to bring the Dalai Lama over, using the ANC's not taxpayers money!

      Mtizozo - 2011-10-05 13:43

      In your derams,,

  • Marck A - 2011-10-05 11:52

    of course it would be approved, 3 weeks after the event. can't believe how weak our leaders have become.

  • Jakes-cpt - 2011-10-05 11:52

    Would have issued a visa? Issit? You could have fooled me.

  • Hiram - 2011-10-05 11:52

    how embarrassing , shame , seems like SA in still living in the stone age ,processing just takes way too long, too little to late, we are once again the laughing stock of the world

  • chiepner - 2011-10-05 11:52

    Have the ANC got NO SHAME!

  • Gandalf - 2011-10-05 11:54