The South African government has done it again. This time denying the Dalai Lama and some 6000+ local Buddhists and other people of faith in the country the right to freedom of association and freedom of religion. As the media story about the Dalai Lama visa fiasco broke around the world and with international condemnation springing from what Nobel Peace laureate Desmond Tutu’s emotional response, the Deputy-President was today spinning blatant lies about the timing of the application.
This is not the first time that the Lama’s visa application has been through bureaucratic scrutiny. The first, in a highly publicised incident which made news-headlines in 2009, went so far as the High Court.
There has thus been more than enough time for the government as well as the legal system to get its act together on this issue. Instead, government now pleads ignorance. Sorry, Mr Deputy-President, but ignorance is no defence in terms of the law. Kgalema Molanthe needs to apologise to all people of faith with an interest in the outcome of freedom of association.
Stop oppressing us like the apartheid government. Stop the lies and dishonesty.