Nobel laureates to pressure Zuma for Dalai Lama visa

The spiritual leader has attempted to visit SA on a few occasions but has not been able to.

FILE: The Tibetan spiritual leader has attempted to visit the country on a few occasions but has not been able to obtain a visa. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Four foundations representing Nobel Peace Prize laureates say they will now write to President Jacob Zuma to build pressure for the Dalai Lama to be allowed to visit South Africa.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has attempted to visit the country on a few occasions but has not been able to obtain a visa.

China praised South Africa on Friday for not allowing him into the country and Home Affairs says he has now withdrawn his application.

The Luthuli, the Tutu, the Mandela and FW de Klerk foundations are expected to ask Zuma to intervene and guarantee the Dalai Lama a visa to attend the summit.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille feels the spiritual leader should be allowed into the country.

"A number of Nobel Peace laureates who have already signed a letter of appeal to Zuma include president Lech Valesa so we will be turning on the pressure for the whole government to reverse their decision."

This is the third time in five years where the Dalai Lama has abandoned plans to visit the country, because of the delays in obtaining a visa.