Court: S. Africa official delayed Dalai Lama visa

AP News
Posted: Nov 29, 2012 5:35 AM

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — A court in South Africa has ruled that a government minister "unreasonably delayed" a decision about whether to grant the Dalai Lama a visa for a trip he planned here in 2011.

The Supreme Court of Appeal issued its judgment Thursday in the case involving former Home Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. The court said that it was clear officials worried a visit by the Dalai Lama would upset China, which accuses the Dalai Lama of being a separatist.

The court said officials showed "deliberate procrastination" in delaying their decision.

The Dalai Lama was to attend the 80th birthday party of a fellow Nobel laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu. At the time, Tutu said the African National Congress-led government was worse than the country's former oppressive white regime for not issuing the visa.