Cape Town — The ANC government is “worse than the apartheid government”, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu said in Cape Town on Tuesday.
“Our government is worse than the apartheid government, because at least you were expecting it from the apartheid government,” he said in a news conference on the government’s failure to grant Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama a visa.
“We were expecting we would have a government that was sensitive to sentiments of our Constitution,” Tutu said. “The trouble is that the ANC on the whole reckons that the freedom that we enjoy is due to them. They reckon everyone else is just a sideline.”
Tutu, who shouted and shook his finger as he spoke, said President Jacob Zuma did not represent him.
“Hey Mr Zuma, you and your government don’t represent me. You represent your own interests. I am warning you out of love. I am warning you like I warned the nationalists that one day we will start praying for the defeat of the ANC government. You are disgraceful.”
Tutu said International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane had been “economical” with the truth when she had said the Dalai Lama could come to South Africa at any time. Two years ago the minister… said the Dalai Lama can come any time.
“Either she was being very economical with the truth or she didn’t know her work. She should have known that it was unlikely they would [let him come]. The discourtesy is mind-blowing.”
Tutu said former president Nelson Mandela once told the United States not to tell him how to choose his friends when he was challenged about South Africa’s close ties with Cuba.
“When you think Madiba able to say to most powerful country, look you don’t choose our friends for us… To say that to the US about Cuba, it takes something, but he did and they did nothing. If anything their respect for him grew.”
Tutu said he would not invite the Dalai Lama to South Africa again. “I don’t think I would put him through this kind of thing again,” he said. SAPA