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Wed Nov 26 20:33:11 SAST 2014

Home Affairs confident in Dalai Lama visa case

Sapa | 15 November, 2012 15:09
Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama gestures after delivering a speech before members of the Japanese parliament at the upper house members' office building in Tokyo November 13, 2012.
Image by: YURIKO NAKAO / REUTERS

Home affairs remained confident about a court appeal by the IFP and Cope regarding the Dalai Lama's visa, director general Mkuseli Apleni said on Thursday.

"Without seeking to undermine the sub-judice rule, we remain confident of the case we made in the court on the issue," he told reporters in Pretoria.

The Congress of the People and the Inkatha Freedom Party had taken the home affairs department to the Supreme Court of Appeal, contending it acted unconstitutionally and unlawfully by failing to grant the Dalai Lama a visa. The matter was heard on Monday and judgment was reserved.

The Tibetan spiritual leader cancelled his trip to the country last year after the department failed to approve his visa in time. He had been invited to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday party.

Apleni said on Thursday: "There are processes on [issuing a visa]. You don't just sit and issue a visa."

Because the Dalai Lama was treated as a head of state, his visa application was a matter for the international relations department, he said.

The Dalai Lama cancelled his trip before a decision on the matter was made.

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