On Monday November 12, 2012 in Bloemfontein the Supreme Court of Appeal will hear an appeal by Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and COPE's President Mosiuoa Lekota to challenge the validity of Government's decision to refuse an entry visa to the Dalai Lama for a second time in a row.
Government's lawyers had argued in their papers that the refusal to grant a visa is justified by our government's intention not to displease the Chinese government. The Dalai Lama has been granted honorary citizenship by Canada and the United States, has the freedom of the city of most world capitals, has received medals of honour and the highest national awards from most world democracies and is a Nobel Peace Laureate.
He is welcome in each and every country of the world, except China and South Africa. A recent poll showed that 89% of the South African people consulted indicated that they would welcome the Dalai Lama in South Africa. He is a long-time friend of President Mandela, Archbishop Tutu, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi and FW De Klerk.
Government's position before the highest court in our land shows Government's contempt for the values of democracy, the will of the people and all that is sacred, good and noble in our country. What government lawyers have pleaded in their papers before the court may represent the views of the ruling elite but surely not the view of the South African people and this questions the extent to which in this instance the South African Government is a representative of the South African people or of its Chinese friends and allies.
Because of its absurdity, the Dalai Lama case brings to the fore the extent to which our ruling class is beholden to the Chinese government.
The court hearing will begin in Bloemfontein at 9: 30 am on November 12, 2012.
Issued by Mario GR Oriani-Ambrosini, MP IFP spokesman on Justice, 082 556 0240