Pastor Oscar Bougardt

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has confirmed that homophobic Western Cape Pastor Oscar Bougardt will finally answer to hate speech charges in court.

Bougardt has repeatedly created controversy with his outrageous and unrepentant anti-gay comments, including calling for the execution of gay people.

Most recently, he claimed that fallen sports icon Oscar Pistorius’ killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was as a result of him being cursed by God “for openly supporting homosexuals”.

The SAHRC received a number of complaints against the pastor and investigated the legal strength of the case against him.

On Thursday, SAHRC Spokesperson Isaac Mangena told Mambaonline that “the commission is proceedings to the equality court with the matter”.

Mangena said that the pastor, who will face charges of hate speech, “has been very difficult in terms of co-operating with our investigation”.

When Mambaonline asked Bougardt for a response to the news of his pending court case, he said that he had not yet been notified by the commission that it would be laying charges against him.

“I will await correspondence from them, and will then decide what my plan of action will be.”

Bougardt complained that he is “being verbally abused and my life is being threaten by homosexuals”.

He added: “I really don’t care if you write articles on me, please don’t include my contact details and please ask your homosexual communities not to contact me”.

Bougardt, a senior pastor at Calvary H.O.P.E Ministries in Mitchells Plain, first launched his media crusade against homosexuality in October 2011 by stating that Archbishop Desmond Tutu will burn in hell for supporting the LGBT community.

He has justified his hateful stance on the basis of his right to freedom of religion, stating that he is “Biblically mandated to preach against the homosexual lifestyle” because, “according to the Word of God, homosexuality is a sin.”

The SAHRC was previously successful in securing a hate speech conviction against anti-gay journalist Jon Qwelane in 2011, but the ruling was overturned on a technicality. The case has dragged on since 2008 and is yet to be resolved by the courts.

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