A NG Kerk dominee has testified in the court case of fired music lecturer Johan Strydom that gays can be “rectified”.
Dominee Dirkie van der Spuy from the Moreleta Park congregation was in the Pretoria High Court over his church’s firing of Strydom from its arts academy because he was in a gay relationship.
Van der Spuy said that while Strydom would have had to step down as a lecturer, church leaders were willing to help him financially if he agreed to “walk a loving, spiritual path” by becoming celibate.
He said that they would have reinstated him in his position “If he had walked the path successfully…”
The dominee compared homosexuality to an illness, described it as sinful and insisted that a gay person could choose to stop his homosexual behaviour and lead a new life.
Strydom, who now lives in Jeffreys Bay, was fired from the Arts Academy in July 2005 after an anonymous caller told the church that he was gay.
He refused to discuss the issue with church elders at the time on the basis that it was a personal matter and was later sent an e-mail from the congregation manager firing him because of the church’s position on homosexuality.
Strydom is suing the church for damages related to loss of income and dignity as well as demanding an “unconditional” apology.