Johannesburg – Less than a day after 49 LGBTI people were gunned down in the Pulse nightclub massacre in Orlando, Florida, Pastor Steven L Anderson preached: “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.”
Now, the same pastor who in 2014 called for gay people to be “executed” is coming to South Africa in September on a “soul-winning marathon”, a plan that has led to outrage among local gay rights groups.
On Monday, gay lifestyle and news website, MambaOnline.com, revealed the pastor’s plans to visit South Africa to recruit new members for his evangelical congregation at the Faithful Word Baptist Church.
According to the website, and Anderson’s own Facebook event, on September 18, he will conduct a day-long event, including a breakfast at the Spur in Festival Mall, Kempton Park, lunch at the Wimpy and a church service at the Premier Hotel at OR Tambo where Anderson will preach.
Station Manager at GaySA Radio, Hendrik Baird, sent a letter on Tuesday asking Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, to deny Anderson access to South Africa and prevent the Arizona-based pastor from spreading “hate-Christianity”.
“On behalf of the LGBTI community of South Africa, we are pleading with you to refuse this man and his group entry into the country,” he wrote.
“LGBTI rights are protected in our Constitution and it is my belief that we cannot let a known proponent of the murder of LGBTI people into our country to spread his hate. Please sir, stand up for our rights and protect us from this man and his group,” Baird asked of Gigaba.
“Pastor Anderson is frankly a despicable human being who, while lacking any humanity, is entitled to his opinion. What he’s not entitled to do is publicly call for the murder of a group of people who already face a daily threat of violence.
“He should not be allowed to promote his deadly brand of hate in South Africa, and any local organisation, company or government department that facilitates him in this endeavour will be complicit in promoting violence against the LGBT community,” said rights activist and editor of MambaOnline, Luiz de Barros.
Meanwhile, a petition calling to bar Anderson access to South Africa (https://www.change.org/p/department-of-home-affairs-stop-steve-anderson-from-promoting-hate-speech-in-south-africa) had garnered over 2000 by Wednesday morning.
While queries were laid with the Department of Home Affairs regarding Baird’s letter and the petition, no response had been received by the time of publication.