Now anti-gay pastor sets sights on Botswana

2016-09-13 17:58
US anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson

US anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson

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Gigaba decision sets important precedent for 'targeted' groups - lawyer

2016-09-13 15:37

News24 spoke to GaySA Radio's attorney Coenraad Kukkuk on Tuesday after their victory over homophobic pastor Steven Anderson, after Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba denied the pastor entry into South Africa. Watch. WATCH

Cape Town - Anti-gay US Pastor Steven Anderson is not pleased with South Africa's landmark decision to declare him and his entourage of 17 prohibited people ahead of his planned "soul winning" tour to the country, and has set his sights on Botswana.

"I have been banned from South Africa AND the United Kingdom. I am not even allowed to have a connecting flight in London," he posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Quoting from Acts 18 verse 6, he wrote: "And when they opposed themselves, and blasphemed, he shook his raiment, and said unto them, Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles."

He continued: "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," he wrote after Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba's announcement that his exemption from not having to apply for a visa has also been withdrawn.

60 000-signature petition

Gigaba announced on Tuesday that Anderson, of the Faithful World Baptist Church in Arizona, has been prohibited in terms of the Immigration Act, following a study of a dossier of evidence collected by representatives of GaySA Radio.

The 17-strong delegation who were to accompany him would also not be welcome.

In the lead up to announcing his decision, Gigaba said that South Africa was a pioneer in advocating social justice and rights, and allowing Anderson in would negate the Constitution and the country's work.

The decision was based on a right afforded the minister in Section 29(1)d of the Immigration Act, explained Gigaba.

His decision was also bolstered by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, which prohibits hate speech, complaints to the SA Human Rights Commission, and a petition with over 60 000 signatures submitted by GaySA radio.

'Rainbow Day'

US citizens are ordinarily exempt from applying for a visa to come to South Africa, but in the case of Anderson and his entourage, this privilege was also revoked.

But Anderson made it clear in his Sunday sermon that if South Africa turned him down, he would go to Botswana, saying the government there was more receptive to his stance that gay people were "sodomites".

He said he had a missionary already doing work there, and believed they would be welcomed.

In reply to his rearranged itinerary, one Facebook user wrote: "If u think u going to come to Botswana and insult us,we going to lock you up.This is Botswana my brother not a playing ground."

But he also has supporters, as reflected in another post on his page: "One thing you may notice about people who exalt themselves as tolerant, is that they are only tolerant of sin, not different ideas. Don't mind them Pastor Anderson. Keep preaching the Word."

GayRadio SA operations manager Hendrik Baird said September 13 should be declared "Rainbow Day" and urged Botswana to follow South Africca's lead and prohibit his entry there too.

Read more on:    steven anderson  |  religion  |  gay rights

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