Dalai Lama visa: ‘court erred’

China Visa application  

The IFP and Cope have filed an application for leave to appeal a judgment that dismissed a Dalai Lama visa suit, according to a report on Sunday.

The Weekend Argus Sunday edition reported that Inkatha Freedom Party president Mangosuthu Buthelezi and Congress of the People leader Mosiuoa Lekota believed that the Western Cape High Court erred in its judgment on February 3.

The court dismissed, with costs, an application on whether it was constitutional for the government not to grant a visa to the Dalai Lama last year.

The Dalai Lama cancelled his intended trip to South Africa to attend Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday on October 4.

The newspaper reported that, according to papers filed this week, the court had assumed that “the only constitutional rights at play were those of the Dalai Lama, when the application was centrally to vindicate the constitutional rights of the applicants and public”.

The court found that the issue was “moot” because the spiritual leader had withdrawn his visa and the event he had planned to attend had passed.

Buthelezi and Lekota argued that the “application raises important issues in the public interest”. 

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