Presidential spokesman Thabo Masebe said the conference organisers had not consulted them before inviting the Dalai Lama.
"The South African government does not have a problem with the Dalai Lama," he told the local Sapa news agency.
"But at this time the whole world will be focused on the country as hosts of the 2010 World Cup. We want the focus to remain on South Africa.
"A visit now by the Dalai Lama would move the focus from South Africa onto issues in Tibet."
Posted by Steve S at 4:42 PM
South Africa is finding out: