S Africa worse than apartheid govt: Tutu

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 00:13

Johannesburg: Calling it "worse than the apartheid" regime, an angry Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Tuesday lambasted the South African government over its failure to
issue a visa to the Dalai Lama, and warned it to "watch out".

Tutu`s outburst came after the Tibetan spiritual leader cancelled his visit to South Africa to receive an international award named after Mahatma Gandhi.

The Dalai Lama said the South African government was finding it "inconvenient" to issue a visa to him and his entourage. The Tibetan spiritual leader was invited to attend the birthday celebrations of Tutu.

The Desmond Tutu Peace Centre earlier termed the cancellation of his trip a "dark day" for South Africa.

Later, at a press conference in Cape Town, a visibly angry Tutu said he found it "quite unbelievable" to see this had happened in a democratic South Africa.

"Wake me up and tell this is actually happening here," he said.

"Our government is worse than the apartheid government,
because at least you were expecting it from the apartheid
government," said Tutu.

"But our government, we were expecting more (that) we
would have a government that was sensitive to the sentiments
of our Constitution," he said.

Tutu said the African National Congress led government
seemed "quite determined" on not doing anything that would
upset China, "whether they say so or not".

The 76-year-old Dalai Lama was slated to leave for the
African nation on Thursday on a nine-day visit, but he had not
received his visa yet, applications for which were submitted
to the South African High Commission in New Delhi in August. Hitting out at President Jacob Zuma, Tutu said his government was representing its own interests rather than
representing citizens like him.

"I am warning you, watch out! Watch out!" he told the ANC
government.

"One day we will be praying for the defeat of the ANC
government. You are disgraceful. You have bought a huge
majority - that is nothing. Watch out ANC government watch
out," he was quoted as saying by South African news website
News24.

PTI



First Published: Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 00:13

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