BAN 'OUTRAGEOUS'

IFP ACTION: The Dalai Lama's visa row rages on. © Sowetan.
IFP ACTION: The Dalai Lama's visa row rages on. © Sowetan.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi will push ahead with a court application to force the Home Affairs minister to grant the Dalai Lama a visa, his advisor said yesterday.

IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi will push ahead with a court application to force the Home Affairs minister to grant the Dalai Lama a visa, his advisor said yesterday.

Mario Oriani-Ambrosini said a meeting was held with a judge in the Western Cape division of the high court yesterday morning, in which the government argued that it could not legally be forced to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama.

"We went in saying that it was unconstitutional to deny a visa to the Dalai Lama," Oriani-Ambrosini said.

"The government's reply was that we did not deny the Dalai Lama a visa, we asked him not to apply for one so therefore we cannot be forced to grant the visa.

"But we will push ahead with the application. We think this is outrageous."

Oriani-Ambrosini said he expected the matter to be heard soon.

The Dalai Lama was refused a visa to attend a 2010 World Cup-related peace conference to have been held in Johannesburg last week.

The conference was cancelled after the withdrawal of Nobel peace laureates FW De Klerk and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu in solidarity with the Dalai Lama.

"There are times at which words are not sufficient and action is required," Buthelezi said in a statement on the application against Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula.

"For this reason today I have filed the application." - Sapa

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