“We don’t have a reaction. He’s cancelled his trip and that’s it. We have not said no. We’ve not refused him a visa; the visa was still being processed. It’s only on 20 September that he submitted his full paperwork. In some countries a visa can take two months. I don’t know why people are criticizing the government.”
-CLAYSON MONYELA, SPOKESMAN FOR SOUTH AFRICAN FOREIGN MINISTRY.
“…By delaying [the visa decision] the government made its choice: it allowed China to dictate foreign policy. This is a sad day for those of us who believe in a sovereign foreign policy based on Ubuntu and human rights. It is not acceptable that the government has allowed a breach of this sovereignty by bowing to pressure from a foreign power.”
-STEVENS MOKGALAPA, SHADOW DEPUTY FOREIGN MINISTER FOR THE DEMOCRATIC ALLIANCE, THE AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS’ OPPOSITION.
The Dalai Lama has canceled plans to attend celebrations for the Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu’s 80th birthday in Cape Town. The Dalai Lama’s visa request was still being processed mere days before celebrations were to begin on Thursday, and Tutu will now have to make do with just the likes of Bono, Jimmy Carter, Richard Branson and Kofi Annan instead. The Dalai Lama was also denied entry into South Africa two years ago when trying to attend a Nobel Laureates’ conference.