Court to hear Lama application

2011-12-06 09:25
The Cape High Court will hear an application today on whether it is constitutional for government to bar the Dalai Lama entry into South Africa.

The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) and the Congress of the People (Cope) 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.

The application will be presided over by Judge Dennis Davis.

The Dalai Lama cancelled an intended trip to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday on October 7 after not receiving a visa on time.

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

Tutu accused President Jacob Zuma’s administration of being “worse than the apartheid government” for not granting the visa.

Home affairs director-general Mkuseli Apleni said in an answering affidavit to the application that Pretoria’s One China policy, South Africa’s Brics membership, and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe’s recent visit to China were all taken into account when deciding whether to grant the visa.