Dalai Lama: IFP considers appeal

2012-02-03 14:27
It would consider appealing the judgment in the Dalai Lama case, the IFP has said.

This follows the dismissal today of a court application to determine the lawfulness of government’s failure to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama last year.

Judge Elizabeth Baartman dismissed the application by the IFP and Cope with costs.

The Dalai Lama cancelled his intended trip to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday on October 4.

He said he had done so to avoid inconveniencing the South African government.

The government’s failure to grant the visa sparked a public outcry with Tutu accusing President Jacob Zuma’s administration of being “worse than the apartheid government”.

The IFP and Cope subsequently filed an application in the High Court for an order declaring Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma’s handling of the matter unlawful and forcing her to treat future applications by the Dalai Lama fairly.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has invited the Dalai Lama to visit him in 2012.

The “national tragedy” of the government’s failure to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama “has not yet found justice and has fallen in a piece of legal no-man’s land,” the IFP said in a statement following the judgment.

“This is a grave indictment on our entire system of government which has not yet been able to find a mechanism to correct what everyone perceives as an injustice, ranging from the churches to the trade unions to the common people who, in their overwhelming majority, declared themselves in favour of the Dalai Lama coming to South Africa,” the statement read.

- Sapa and City Press