In this issue:
- Nortons Inc. successful in Dalai Lama visa appeal before the SCA
Nortons Inc. successful in Dalai Lama visa appeal before the SCA
On 29 November 2012, the Supreme Court of Appeal (the “SCA”) upheld an appeal by leaders of the Inkata Freedom Party ("IFP") and Congress of the People (“COPE”) against the Minister of Home Affairs for not granting the Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, a visa in 2011 to visit South Africa for Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s birthday. The SCA held that the Minister of Home affairs had acted unlawfully by “unreasonably [delaying] her decision” to grant a visa. The SCA concluded that the reason for such a delay was to avoid putting strain on South Africa’s political relations with China which is asserting sovereignty over the Dalai Lama’s country of Tibet. The SCA stated that “…the evidence is an inference that the matter was deliberately delayed so as to avoid a decision. It hardly needs saying that the Minister is not entitled to deliberately procrastinate.”
Nortons Inc. represented the COPE leader, Mosiuoa Lekota, in this matter.