‘Racist’ pastor gets standing ovation after apology.


Sandton Rivers Church pastor Andre Olivier received a standing ovation yesterday when he apologised to his church for his “racist, deeply hurtful and offensive comments” last week.

He told his multiracial congregants that he had apologised on social media but also wanted to do so at church.

Most people interviewed said they forgave him but refused to give their names.

The pastor made headlines after he said in his sermon last week: “I must say I get very annoyed.when I see people saying that the whites are the problem in the country. No, we are not.”

He then said: “We [whites] took nothing from no one.

“Maybe the law favoured us, but we worked, and I am still working. And when you tell me I need to share my wealth, what are you suggesting?”

Pastor Chris Mathebula said he had come to preach at the church, despite the fact that his wife had been in hospital over the past week and he was on his way to Australia last night.

Before Mathebula started preaching he said: “We can’t bring the whole nation here. But on behalf of black people I forgive you.”

After the service, congregants said they forgave Olivier.

A woman who gave her name as Nompumelelo said: “We all make mistakes. Let one person who hasn’t made a mistake stand [up]. I definitely forgive him.”

Another said: “I only stood [for Olivier] after I heard his apology and it was genuine. He was genuine.”

Congregant Priya Naidoo said the comments were taken out of context.

“We fully support Andre. We were surprised by the reaction on social media. He must take a break and not let this get to him.”