IFP: Statement by Ben Skosana, Inkatha Freedom Party spokesperson, on the Dalai Lama visa application (04/10/2011)

4th October 2011

In 2010 when the Dalai Lama could not get a visa to come to South
Africa, our government refuted the view and speculations that the visa
was not granted to the Dalai Lama because of our close trade relations
with China.

Today, the debacle is about to be repeated, effectively barring the
Dalai Lama from honouring an invitation for him to grace Archbishop
Desmond Tutu's 80th birthday celebrations in Cape Town. Yet the
government still denies that the relationship with China has something
to do with this.

If President Zuma and the Minister of International Relations and
Co-operation's advisors on the essence of relations between states
cared to look studiously at some of the perspectives imperative in
world politics, they (the advisors) would have instantly realised that
there is something like the politics of economic dominance and
dependence, when the economically powerful nations of the world, like
China, will author the rules of trade with impunity. South Africa
should therefore resist this practise and insist on fair and
reciprocal trade that must include the inviolability of South Africa's
liberty to allow the Dalai Lama to come to South Africa as a free
citizen of the world.

As it is, evidence has been forthcoming of Chinese businesses in South
Africa flouting the country's labour relations laws, and treating the
African workers as the wretched of the earth. It is incumbent on South
Africans not to allow their economic and political sovereignty to be
sacrificed on the altar of unfair trade agreements with China or any
other nation.