Ugandan pastor behind gay Briton trial

2013-12-11 11:35
Briton Bernard Randall, 65, who is being charged with trafficking in obscene publications, attends a trial hearing which was postponed until December, in Entebbe, Uganda. (Rebecca Vassie, AP)

Briton Bernard Randall, 65, who is being charged with trafficking in obscene publications, attends a trial hearing which was postponed until December, in Entebbe, Uganda. (Rebecca Vassie, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Kampala - The trial of a retired British man in Uganda has again thrown the spotlight on country's uncompromising stance against homosexuality and the indefatigable work of its homophobe-in-chief, Pastor Solomon Male.

An evangelical preacher on a self-declared crusade to rid his country of gays, Pastor Male is the man behind the case against Bernard Randall, who stands accused of "trafficking obscene publications".

The pastor views homosexuality as evil, argues that gay men suffer rectal damage and lesbians risk losing the uterus, but also claims he can help turn gays straight.

"I fear Pastor Male, I fear his influence," Randall, 65, said in an interview with AFP ahead of his trial, which is set to resume on Monday.

A former computer engineer from Kent in southeast England, Randall came out as a homosexual after his wife died just short of their 40th wedding anniversary. He first travelled to Uganda in 2011, and this year he settled in the Ugandan town of Entebbe on the banks of Lake Victoria.

Soon after, Randall says his home was robbed and his laptop, which contained images of him having sex with another man in Morocco, was stolen. The alleged thieves, Eric Bugembe and Waswa Sentamu, passed the images to Pastor Male, who then in turn gave them to Red Pepper, a tabloid newspaper.

The newspaper then sounded the alarm over Randall, prompting his arrest and trial. He faces two years behind bars if convicted while his Ugandan partner was also arrested and faces the more serious charge of "gross indecency", and could be jailed for up to seven years.

Pastor Male insists the discovery of the incriminating film being used as evidence against Randall was not obtained in an anti-gay stitch-up.

"They were given the video by Bernard Randall, who wanted to lure them into homosexuality," Pastor Male said of the men, denying they were thieves.

'I will fight homosexuality'

Homophobia is widespread in Uganda and gay men and women in the country face frequent harassment and threats of violence. Rights activists have also reported cases of lesbian women being subjected to "corrective" rapes.

For Pastor Male, homosexuality is a lifestyle choice that can be and should be undone.

"It's stupid to claim that homosexuals are born this way," he told AFP. "I have chosen to speak and fight for our generation. It will be stupid for a man of my calibre to just keep quiet and see all this evil that is encroaching this country."

The 51-year-old preacher spends much of his time bringing the anti-gay message to congregations, schools, the media and politicians.

And in a country where American-style evangelical Christianity is on the rise, he has found plenty of support. Homosexuality is already punishable by heavy jail sentences, and the Ugandan parliament has been for years considering a bill that could see repeat homosexuals executed.

When he launched his latest morality campaign in March 2013, Pastor Male chose to hold a meeting at the cemetery where Ugandan gay rights activist David Kato is buried.

In 2011, Kato was bludgeoned to death at his home after a newspaper splashed photos, names and addresses of gays in Uganda on the front page along with a yellow banner reading "Hang Them".

"Homosexuality is dangerous," Pastor Male said, before going on to explain the supposed public health risks. "I have counselled young men who's rectums have protruded, and young women who have lost uteruses because of indulging in lesbianism."

"There are no facilities to treat them since they would have ruptured anus."

"I have counselled so many people who say they are homosexuals and they have since changed their ways of living. I don't hate homosexuals but the acts of homosexuality. I will fight homosexuality, not the people," the pastor said. "I love the people and I encourage them to come forward."

Read more on:    uganda  |  east africa  |  gay rights
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

'Zuma's legacy will be judged by Nkandla'

The legacy of President Jacob Zuma is contingent on how he deals with the issue of upgrades to his Nkandla homestead, says Cape Town Archbishop Thabo Makgoba.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Thursday Sir Lowry's Pass - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Thursday Cape Town - 05:35 AM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Waterkant Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Nokia N9

The Nokia N9 has a beautiful one-piece, unibody design where...

From R2899.85

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may be good at organising events but they do take their toll on your energy levels. You may need some time out today just to...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.