The way the South African government has responded to the Dalai Lama's visa application is “disrespectful”, the Desmond Tutu Peace Centre said on Wednesday.
It quoted Tutu as saying in an interview on Tuesday this was “reminiscent of the way authorities dealt with applications by black South Africans for travel documents under apartheid”.
The centre said in a statement that an official from the international relations department had apologised to Tutu for its “tardy” response to the application.
However, department spokesman Clayson Monyela suggested to the media that the Tibetan spiritual leader did not know how to apply for a visa and had only submitted the relevant documentation six days ago, the peace centre said.
“They have had all the documentation required to make their decision on the visa, and received the physical passport for stamping on 20 September when His Holiness returned from a visit to South America,” the Office of Tibet in Pretoria spokesman Sonam Tenzing said in a statement.
“This is a process that his holiness' representatives have dealt with many times in the past.”
On Monday, chairman of the peace centre Dumisa Ntsebeza said he had sent four letters to deputy international relations minister Ebrahim Ebrahim but had not received a response.
Tutu has invited the Dalai Lama, who was refused entry into the country two years ago, to his 80th birthday celebrations in Cape Town on October 7.
Tutu warned that the government would “shoot itself in the foot” by again refusing his fellow Nobel Peace laureate entry into South Africa.
In 2009, South Africa barred the exiled Tibetan spiritual leader from visiting the country to attend a peace conference, for fear of jeopardising ties with China, a key trade partner.
The Dalai Lama has lived in exile in India since fleeing Tibet during a failed uprising in 1959. He accepts Chinese rule, but Beijing accuses him of being a separatist and opposes his regular meetings with foreign leaders. - Sapa
African leaders are full of greed and [alleged] corruption which is why it's so easy for China to exploit these countries for its minerals and resources. The ANC thinks it is being so clever by allying itself with China (note a communist country still in my opinion). China is way ahead of the ANC government in every step. China only cares about itself and not necessarily for its down people even. Sounds like the ANC government as well...
michael kewley, wrote
Sad day when our government refuses the access but will exploit sa to china for physical gain ... A short term outlook ! The balance of values remain amiss in SA - unfortunately our country has years to go till it grows up
rick Meijer, wrote
Where is Malema now, shouting that this is the result of eastern Imperialistic Colonizers ??.. Or might he just be a little selective with his criticism ?
What an ebarresment to our country,but then our government has masterd this.
The ANC are nothing more than an international joke, They can't do anything without a Chinese political officer being present to hold their hand and wipe their noses.
How easy second-generation politicians give up the freedom and independence so hard-won by the earlier generation. I am ashamed of the cowardness of our 'leaders'... A moment's reflection shows that China needs Africa's minerals more than we need them.
DR NO, wrote
Dr. Tutu should move his birthday celebration to Botswana as the government there has its head screwed on correctly. they would provide a visa promptly for a person with the stature of the Dalai Lama.
@leksang - yup, isn't it funny how its completely unacceptable to be a puppet of the West, but its perfectly fine to be a puppet of China, who has no respect whatsoever for human rights, and no qualms about ruining local businesses?
southafrican govt are puppet govt.of china
Sell your soul for business if not the USA then China..let the Dalai Lama come.
There is always onother way of killing the cat. Desmond Tutu must stop complaining and just visit his fellow Nobel Peace laureate, the Delai Lama finish and klaar.
The chinese are the new colonialists of Africa. They will rape the continent of its mineral resources and Africans will continue to suffer thanks to dictatorships like the ANC Government
So, the Dalai Lama is victim of apartheid in South Africa..in 2011
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