Pastor Steven Anderson

Pastor Steven Anderson had not been all that excited at visiting our so-called beautiful country, he said after hearing news of the government shutting the door to him.

It was no skin off his back, he said. South Africa was, after all, the rape capital. "It is one of the most dangerous, wicked places in the entire world," he said. "I was actually going there for their sakes. I was trying to bring the Gospel to the lost."

A fool he is, he established that through these words. But neither this, nor his slap, were grounds for being prohibited entry to this country. It was the hate he propagates.

We should not be importing this type of venom. He regards homosexuals as paedophiles, believes Islam is wicked and disgusting, and denies the Holocaust. Yet he claims not to have a racist bone in his body, the refrain of many a racist.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced the denial hours before Anderson and members of the Faithful Word Baptist Church of Tempe, Arizona, set off. It was the right decision.

But it needed no legitimising. Though consultation with the LGBTI community lent it an air of democracy, it did not require it. Gigaba should have done what he did at the outset. Enshrined free speech is no permit for irresponsibility. Nor is religious freedom.

Gigaba was dealing with one who wants to see governments round up and try homosexuals. Anderson wants them executed "through proper channels".

It was a clear decision. The attention the minister gave the matter does, however, raise the issue of government consistency. How is it that a spiritual leader of the calibre of the Dalai Lama can be bunched with the likes of Anderson as a prohibited person? One decision was a principled one, the other weak self-interest.

Another question the Anderson refusal raises is, enlightened though Gigaba may be, how does this translate domestically? He pointed out that LGBTI people worldwide faced daily atrocities. They were ridiculed, abused, bullied, assaulted and raped.

South Africa should not be doing any business, then, with any of those countries that officially practise homophobia. Gigaba should talk to his colleagues in cabinet.