Minister welcomes Dalai Lama ruling

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she was delighted an urgent application for the...

The Dalai Lama. Picture: Gallo Images/Getty Images

Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said she was delighted an urgent application for the Dalai Lama to be granted a visa to visit <?xml:namespace prefix="st1" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags"?><country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on"><?xml:namespace prefix="u1"?><place u2:st="on"><country-region u2:st="on">South Africa</country-region></country-region> was dismissed on Thursday.<?xml:namespace prefix="o" ns="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office"?>

The Western Cape High Court ruled the application by Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi was not an urgent because the local peace conference the Dalai Lama had been invited to was cancelled.

Government’s decision not to grant the Tibetan spiritual leader a visa sparked international condemnation and drew accusations it was pandering to <country-region w:st="on"><place w:st="on"><country-region u2:st="on"><place u2:st="on">China</country-region></country-region>.

Mapisa-Nqakula said her department did not receive a formal visa application from the Dalai Lama.

“People should have first done a bit of homework just to establish whether we did receive an application. Even the former minister, [Mangosuthu] Buthelezi who made this application could have simply called on us to give more information,” she said.