SA bars racist anti-gay pastor
A US pastor who denounced Archbishop Desmond Tutu as “a pervert in a pink dress” has been banned from entering South Africa.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba described Pastor Steven Anderson – notorious for praising the June shooting at a gay club in Florida which left 49 people dead – as “undesirable” in an announcement to ban the pastor from the country yesterday.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community (LGTBI) community pressured Gigaba to ban Anderson after he announced his intention to visit here.
Last week, Anderson said Gigaba’s department protects sodomites.
GaySA Radio station manager Hendrik Baird initiated a campaign against Anderson, collecting more than 60 000 signatures on petitions.
Last month, the department was further pressed by the South African Human Rights Commission, which sent a letter to Gigaba and director-general Mkuseli Apleni.
Gigaba announced in Parliament yesterday that Anderson and associates of his church have been prohibited from entering South Africa in accordance with a section of the Immigration Act.
“The section affords the department the legal means to prohibit a foreigner who is a member or adherent of an association or organisation advocating the practice of racial hatred or social violence. I have informed the director general that I have identified Steven Anderson and his associates of his church as undesirable persons,” said Gigaba.
Anderson reacted to news of his banning by taking to Facebook, stating: “I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of multitudes saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists.”
Free Gender Khayelitsha founder Funeka Soldaat welcomed the decision and called it a clear message to others who have prejudiced views.
“This is good news and this situation had me worried but our constitution is clear and this decision sends a message throughout the world that this is not tolerated in South Africa. After hearing the comments and videos, I find this man is not only a homophobe but twisted in his beliefs,” said Soldaat.
She said it concerned her that like-minded people had invited him to the country and that it was painful other African countries were welcoming him.
Sonke Gender Justice Director Bafana Khumalo said it had been a bold decision and felt Anderson’s type of religion was not needed in South Africa.
“Our country did not need this person to create division in a society we are still trying to fully unite. His comments are of a violent nature. This is not preaching the gospel and as a Christian it disturbs me,” said Khumalo.
He hoped the precedent the minister’s decision made was maintained.