Anti-gay pastor allowed to visit SA

2016-09-05 16:28
Pastor Steven Anderson (Screengrab)

Pastor Steven Anderson (Screengrab)

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Cape Town - Homophobe US Pastor Steven Anderson will be allowed to visit South Africa to preach on the condition that he "behaves", the Department of Home Affairs said on Monday.

This followed a meeting earlier on Monday with the SA Human Rights Commission and members of the LGBTI community, which had collected almost 60 000 signatures to prevent the visit. SAHRC chairperson Lawrence Mushwana had also raised concerns about him.

Spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said the department had carefully weighed its options regarding the pastor's visit to South Africa, including studying sections of the Immigration Act, and listened to the concerns raised by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), and the LGBTI community.

Legislation and the implications for South Africa were considered, and the department's earlier decision would stand: he can come, but if he breaks the law through his speeches, or pamphlets, action would be taken.

''If he contravenes our laws we will detain him, we will consider prosecution,'' said Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete.

So far, the Spur and Wimpy have made it clear that he is not welcome in their establishments after he advertised the restaurants as meeting venues for his pastoral work.

After the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, this year, Anderson published a video on YouTube in which he stated: "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."

And, in December 2014, Anderson preached to followers: "...if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn't have all this Aids running rampant."

According to Mambaonline, 58 000 signatures were presented to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in a bid to stop Anderson's visit to South Africa.

Home Affairs said it would be ''in his best interest to behave in accordance with our laws''. 
''We have a precedent regarding a US citizen on which we acted decisively, for the person to leave the country. There will be serious conditions attached to this visit; we will not hesitate to deport or charge him for wrongdoing.''

In response to a question, he said it was not possible to compare the intended visit of Anderson, with that of the Dalai Lama, who called off his trip over a visa controvery in 2014.

He said that US citizens do not require a visa to enter South Africa and the Dalai Lama withdrew his application for a visa before its processing was finalised.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  religion  |  gay rights

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