Johannesburg - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has set a date to meet with LGBTI community leaders and the South African Human Rights Commission to discuss the incoming visit of now infamous “kill-the-gays” US pastor Stephen L Anderson.
Online petitions addressed to the Department of Home Affairs to keep Anderson from entering South Africa for a recruitment drive in mid-September garnered tens of thousands of signatures.
But up until Monday, it was still unclear if Gigaba would keep his promise to discuss the issue.
However, Home Affairs spokesman Thabo Mokgola on Monday confirmed the meeting would take place next week, followed by a media briefing.
Hendrik Baird, who began the petitions, also confirmed that a date had been set but was still awaiting an official invitation. He added it was still unclear what action, if any, the department would take.
The Arizona-based preacher and Holocaust denier initially achieved online notoriety in 2014 after calling for gay people to be executed.
He again brought negative attention to himself this year when, a day after 49 LGBTI people were gunned down in the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, he said: “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.”
Since Baird revealed Anderson’s plans on social media, numerous restaurants and hotels which initially accepted his bookings have rejected him, from Spur and Wimpy to the Premier Hotel at OR Tambo International Airport.
Last week, gay lifestyle and news website Mambaonline.com posted a leaked email that revealed Anderson’s new plans for his South African visit, where the pastor asked his congregation not to reveal the new locations publicly.
“The Sodomites are going to be there protesting and/or whatever else they have planned, so our goal is just to get out of there as quickly as possible without incident,” the email said.
After complaints from the gay community online, the new restaurants and hotels set to host Anderson, including Sugacube Cafe and Burger Republic in Boksburg, and Holiday Inn at OR Tambo International Airport, rejected his bookings.
On Facebook, Anderson wrote: “We are facing more opposition to our trip to South Africa and our work in Botswana than anything we have done.” He attacked Christians who “(sympathised) with perverts”, saying: “You make me sick and you make God sick!”