Cape Town – An online petition started five years ago which calls for Reverend Oscar Bougardt to be jailed is continuing. The Equality Court gagged him earlier this year from making homophobic comments on social media and other platforms.
In August, Bougardt was once again hauled before court for being in contempt of the Equality Court order.
He was sentenced to nine months’ imprisonment but it was suspended for five years, provided he did not breach the order by making the same anti-gay comments.
OUT LGBT began the petition in October 2018. Its goal was to reach 5 000 signatures; and to date it has collected 4671.
According to the petition, OUT LGBT has been keeping an eye on Bougardt’s social media accounts and logged complains with the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
It said: “We have had enough! For years, Cape Town hate pastor Oscar Bougardt has been spreading lies and misinformation about LGBTQ people.
“He has insulted us, he said we “belong in a cage”, described us as sick, ungodly and paedophiles, and has even called for our execution,” it stated.
Bougardt was found guilty by the Equality Court for his homophobic comments in May 2018.
Bougardt was found to be in contempt of court following an order issued in 2014.
He was handed a 30-day jail sentence which was suspended for five years.
According to Sibonelo Ncanana, OUT’s Human Rights co-ordinator, the group was calling for Bougardt to face jail time should he contravene the gag orders placed on him.
“Should he choose to infringe on the rights of the LGBTIQ+ community once again, we hope the courts will show no further leniency in jailing this notorious hate preacher,” Ncanana said.
Luiz de Barros, OUT’s communications manager, claimed Bougardt continued with his slurs.
“In November 2022, he asserted on the Kyknet talk show Sê jou Sê that LGBTIQ+ people pose a predatory danger to children,” said Barros.
In his response, Bougardt said he and his family were victims themselves because they were being victimised for his stance.
“The court can throw me in jail, execute me, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are only two genders – male and female,” he said.
“I didn’t commit a crime, they let me stand (before) a judge for preaching the Bible. All LGBTIQ+ communities will feel God’s wrath.
“The SAHRC is hell bent on getting me in prison and in all honesty they most probably are going to succeed because I will not be silent.
“The Word of God will be preached. I am a Christian preacher and preaching the whole Bible is my job. I’ve been persecuted, insulted, verbally abused, and my family persecuted by LGBTQIA+ people.
“I went to lodge complaints at the SAHRC – they don’t even investigate cases I make. When my tyres were slashed, and my walls at home spray-painted, I lodged complaints and nothing happened.