Reverend challenged to prove 'paedophiles stem from homosexuality' claim

2017-01-04 10:30
Oscar Bougardt. (Netwerk24)

Oscar Bougardt. (Netwerk24)

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Cape Town - Church leader Reverend Oscar Bougardt has been challenged to prove his startling claim that 99% of paedophiles "stem from homosexuality."

And if Bougardt cannot provide the statistics, he must apologise unreservedly for his unfounded remarks which could place LGBTI people in danger, GaySA radio chairperson Hendrik Baird said.

Bougardt made the claim during an interview with News24 while he was on a joint church venture with anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson, who was denied entry to South Africa in September last year.

- Read more: Anti-gay US pastor in joint venture with Cape Town church

Anderson's planned visit was stopped in its tracks when a growing campaign against it led to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba invoking a clause in Section 26 of the Home Affairs Act.

This clause allowed Gigaba to refuse entry to him on the grounds that he might use hate speech while in the country.

Bougardt then travelled to the US to visit Anderson. He told News24 that because Anderson could not come here, the two would join forces with a church in Eerste River, and one in Pretoria. They would combine the “soul winning” of Anderson's Faithful Word Baptist Church and Bougardt's Calvary of Ministries Church.

Bougardt told News24 that, like Anderson, he believes homosexuality is a sin and would not “twist and turn” the Bible to accommodate anybody.

“Why should we be tolerant of their criminal lifestyle? Ninety-nine percent of paedophiles stem from homosexuality.

“I'm saying so because it is proven that 99% of the paedophiles have a homosexual background. They are blaming their previous lifestyle on what happened. Go and read up on it.”

Open letter

Upset by the claim, Baird wrote an open letter to Bougardt, saying he could not find credible research to support his claim.

“The police crime statistics say nothing about paedophilia, only reporting sexual violence against children and infants. So I must say it is not proven at all,” wrote Baird.

He said the only “research” he could find to support Bougardt's claim was from “far-right US-based Evangelical organisations of the Anderson ilk”.

“While I in no shape or form condone any violence or assault aimed at children, I would like to challenge you to put the South African research on the table that proves both your paedophilia argument, as well as your assertion that homosexuals from affluent areas pick up teenagers for sex and get them addicted to drugs, which led to the teens breaking into cars and turning to crime.”

He called Bougardt an “opportunist trying to ride on Andersons’ coattails”.

“You do of course also realise that your statements, being unfounded and not based on any real facts, are inflammatory and could lead to further violence and discrimination against LGBTI people, something which you could and should be held liable for.”

Anderson wrote in his blog on Tuesday that Bougardt was the only person to support him during last year's controversy.

“Like me, Pastor Bougardt has repeatedly gotten flak from the media over the last few years for the biblical stand he takes against the Sodomite agenda,” wrote Anderson.

Bougardt has already been stopped from hate speech in a settlement he reached with the SA Human Rights Commission in 2014 following anti-gay statements.

* An earlier version of this story said Bougardt had been challenged to prove his claim that 99% of homosexuals are paedophiles. News24 apologises for any offence this may have caused.

Read more on:    steven anderson  |  malusi gigaba  |  cape town  |  gay rights  |  child abuse  |  lgbti rights

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