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SA government wrong not to issue Dalai Lama visa - Supreme Court.

BLOEMFONTEyN (CyHAN)- South Africa's Supreme Court of Appeal says that government acted unlawfully in blocking the entry of the Dalai Lama to visit the country last year.

The Tibetan leader had to cancel his planned trip to South Africa to attend anti-apartheid struggle icon, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations, after government refused to grant him a visa in time.

The Bloemfontein based court noted that the countries former Home Affairs Minister, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, now the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, had "unreasonably delayed her decision".

However, Pretoria denounced reports in October 2011, which claimed that South Africa was pressured by China to block the Dalai Lama's visit.

The two opposition parties which brought the appeal to the Supreme Court were the Congress of the People (COPE) and the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), after the case was dismissed at the Western Cape High Court.

Responding to the judgement, the office of the retired Archbishop Tutu, commended the judiciary, saying it was a "credit to

South Africa's judicial system", adding that he looked forward to inviting the 14th Dalia Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, to his 90th birthday.

The Nobel Peace Prize winning Anglican Archbishop was angered by the governments delay in issuing the Dalai Lama a visa for South Africa, exclaiming at the time that the ANC run government was "worse than the apartheid government".

CyHAN

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Publication:Cihan News Agency (CNA)
Geographic Code:6SOUT
Date:Nov 30, 2012
Words:242
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