Johannesburg - Controversial “kill-the-gays” United States pastor, Steven Anderson, has been prohibited from entering South Africa for his “soul-winning mission” to the country.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba made the annoucement on Tuesday.
Gigaba said that the Immigration Act of 2002 prohibited admission of foreigners likely to promote hate speech.
“Mr Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. This prohibition will be implemented in terms of Section 29 of the Immigration Act,” Gigaba told reporters at a media briefing in Cape Town.
“I have informed the director-general that I have identified Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church as undesirable persons. Undesirable persons are barred from travelling to South Africa for periods determined by the department.”
Owing to his homophobic views there has been uncertainty over Anderson's planned visit to the country.
This comes after the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) petitioned the department to ban Anderson from entering the country.
LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) groups also managed to secure 60 000 signature petitions asking the Department of Home Affairs to deny him entry into the country.
Initially, the home affairs department said that it would be attaching “serious conditions” to Anderson when he visits.
Anderson, who is widely known for his anti-gay sentiments on social media, was scheduled to preach in Johannesburg on September 18.
The pastor was in the news recently after he reportedly told congregants at his Arizona-based Faithful Word Baptist Church that there are were less paedophiles in this world after the June 12 terror attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 49 people dead. “The good news is that there's 50 less paedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and paedophiles,” Anderson said in a video published on YouTube.
Last week Anderson claimed that if the department wanted to bar him from visiting South Africa they would have done so already.
He also released a scathing nine-minute YouTube video on Tuesday where he labelled Gigaba as “a joke”, “wicked” and “politically backwards”.
On Tuesday Gigaba said in making the decision to bar Anderson and his 17-member team that was scheduled to travel with him, the home affairs department carefully considered the merits of the matter, its obligations as imposed by the Constitution and all relevant legislation.
Gigaba said it was important to note that Anderson did not only express hatred towards the LGBTI community, but made disparaging remarks against Africans and women in general, which were all considered in the decision to bar his scheduled entry.
IOL and ANA