Archbishop Desmond Tutu is known for his fearless comments and his well-deserved Nobel Peace Prize award years ago, for his valiant fight against the apartheid regime in South Africa.
But for Desmond Tutu to compare the ANC government to the apartheid regime over its refusal to award a visa to the Dalai Lama to attend Tutu’s 80th birthday celebration is out of the ball park and raises questions about his ability to moderate his utterances.
Of course it would have been good to allow the Dalai Lama to attend Tutu’s birthday celebration, joining the likes of Bono and Richard Branson.
But let’s be careful before making such outrageous comparisons between the ANC, which actually helped liberate the country from the NAZI-like apartheid regime, and the former oppressors of the country’s majority population.
South Africa is wary of damaging relations with the government of China and is concerned about letting the Dalai Lama make a major speech at Tutu’s birthday celebrations. It became even more difficult after the issue was picked up by international media.
We wish Archbishop Tutu well. But we believe he owes an apology to Nelson Mandela, and the millions of South Africans who suffered during apartheid, and the many thousands brutally killed, including Bantu Steven Biko.