September 13 is Rainbow Day - GaySA Radio

2016-09-13 16:00
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (Jenni Evans, News24)

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba (Jenni Evans, News24)

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Cape Town - Anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson has been prohibited from entering South Africa in a landmark decision announced by Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba in Cape Town on Tuesday.

"Mr Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa," said Gigaba during a press conference at Parliament.

Gigaba exercised his right to invoke Section 29(1)d of the Immigration Act, which permits prohibition of a foreigner who is "a member of or adherent to an association or organisation advocating the practice of racial hatred or social violence".

The visa exemption status enjoyed by all Americans was also withdrawn for Anderson and his party of 17. Members of the party included Canadians.

"This is on the basis that I am certain they promote hate speech, as well as advocate social violence."

The Immigration Act makes provision for prohibition of entry based on membership of an organisation that advocates social hatred, and Anderson and the 17 people who were expected to accompany him on his "soul winning" tour from September 18, fitted the bill for a ban, said Gigaba.

His decision follows a campaign and delivery of petitions to Gigaba by GaySA Radio and LGBTI representatives.

Gigaba initially said he would wait for evidence of hate speech in South Africa when concerns over Anderson were first raised.

A dossier of "evidence" from LGBTI representatives was presented to him and his office spent the weekend poring over them.

'Rainbow Day'

In the meantime, Anderson continued to rail against "Jigaba", calling him a "sodomite" and South Africa a "den of iniquity" in his Sunday sermon.

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Airlines, the US government and points of entry to South Africa will be informed of the decision to prevent him and his followers from entering South Africa.

Civic organisations should also take his supporters to task and ask why he was invited.

Hendrik Baird, operations manager of GaySA radio, declared September 13 "Rainbow Day" in South Africa, and thanked Gigaba for his help.

Gigaba added that it was a mistake to only consider Anderson a homophobe, saying that, based on his sermons, he seemed to be "anti-human".

Gigaba said the US government was not involved in South Africa's decision.

"We have taken our own sovereign decision."

"Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, on this rainbow day," said Gigaba ending the briefing.

Read more on:    steven anderson  |  malusi gigaba  |  gay rights  |  human rights

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