Dalai Lama judgment expected

2012-02-03 10:47
Judgment on the constitutionality of the government’s barring of the Dalai Lama from entering the country is expected to be handed down by the Western Cape High Court today.

The Inkatha Freedom Party and the Congress of the People are seeking 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.

In arguments in December, Judge Dennis Davis questioned whether the application by the IFP and Cope was a “moot” issue, as the Dalai Lama had withdrawn his visa application and had not applied for another.

Davis also said the government had been faced with “difficult questions” before deciding whether to grant the Dalai Lama a visa to visit South Africa.

He reserved judgment
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.

However, 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”.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi has invited the Dalai Lama to visit him this year.