A court has ruled that South Africa's government unlawfully delayed giving the Dalai Lama a visa in time for his planned visit there in 2011.
The spiritual leader was set to visit South Africa in 2011 for the 80th birthday celebration of archbishop Desmond Tutu.
The Dalai Lama canceled his plans after the South African government failed to grant his visa request. Archbishop Tutu called the South African government's conduct over the Dalai Lama's visa "disgraceful" and "distasteful."
Critics of the visit were scared it would jeopardize China's strong economic relationship with South Africa.
Chinese authorities consider the Dalai Lama subversive and dangerous to Chinese-South African economic relations, The NY Times reports.
Desmond Tutu called the administration of President Jacob Zuma "worse than the apartheid government" for not standing up for the values of the liberation movement, The Telegraph reports. Tutu was highly disappointed in South Africa for "bowing" to China on this issue.
The Supreme Court of Appeal said Thursday that it was obvious South African officials were scared a visit by the Dalai Lama would anger China, The Associated Press reports. The court said officials "deliberately" delayed issuing the Dalai Lama's visa.
South Africa's government has denied any correlation between the Dalai Lama's visa problems and its relationship with China, BBC News reports. it maintains it did not bow to pressure.