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Home Affairs 'respects' Dalai Lama ruling

The Home Affairs Department said it will respond comprehensively after it had studied the ruling.

The Dalai Lama. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Department on Thursday said it will respect the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) ruling on the Dalai Lama visa debacle.

Earlier, the Bloemfontein court ruled it was illegal for Home Affairs to refuse making a decision in time for the Dalai Lama's visa entry to South Africa.

The Tibetan spiritual leader cancelled his planned trip to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations after continuous delays in his visa request.

Home Affairs Deputy Director-General Jackie McKay said they will only respond after studying the judgment.

"The Minister of Home Affairs Naledi Pandor and the department will study the reasoning for the judgment before responding comprehensively."

The IFP's Mario Ambrosini said the judgment meant the Dalai Lama could now visit South Africa.

The ruling was also welcomed by the Congress of the People.