SACP: Dalai Lama must never be granted visa to SA

The SACP has also welcomed the cancellation of the Dalai Lama's visit to South Africa.

Tibetan spiritual leader, Dalai Lama. Picture:

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Communist Party (SACP) has welcomed the cancellation of the Dalai Lama's visit to South Africa, saying the Tibetan spiritual leader must never be granted visa to visit the country.

The Dalai Lama, who's real name is Tenzin Gyatso, was to attend the 14th World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates in Cape Town next month.

He has battled on a number of times to enter the country.

The party's Alex Mashilo says the correct decision was taken to deny a visa.

"He's a man with a perverted agenda, who for some time now has been leading a political agenda of cessation from China."

On Friday, China commended South Africa over its stance on the visa debacle saying this country had taken the correct decision.

International relations spokesperson Claysin Monyela says the correct channels were followed when applying, but Gyatso withdrew his application.

In 2011, Gyatso was unable to attend the 80th birthday celebration of his friend archbishop emeritus Desmond Tutu due to an alleged visa denial.

The Luthuli, Tutu, Mandela and FW de Klerk foundations fought to ask Zuma to intervene and guarantee Gyatso a visa to attend the summit.

Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said she felt the spiritual leader should be allowed into the country.

De Lille said government is being disingenuous about the latest saga surrounding Gyatso's visa application.

She described the ordeal as a great shame.

Gyatso, who lives in exile in India and is at loggerheads with China over Tibet, had been hoping to join a Nobel peace conference in Cape Town next month, but withdrew his visa application after being told it would be unsuccessful.

At the same time, The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said the extent of government's trade with China has a direct impact on the manner in which it has dealt with Gyatso's requests to travel to the country.

The ISS said while China has largely attempted to influence the global view on the spiritual leader, its effect has been greatest on South Africa.