One of the images posted on Twitter by the Westboro Baptist Church
The notoriously anti-gay Westboro Baptist Church says that Nelson Mandela is in hell and that it plans to picket his funeral.
The radical Kansas-based church stated on Twitter that it was booking flights to South Africa, tweeting: “Pres. Zuma: Nelson Mandela’s funeral Dec 15. Set up our picket spot, Mr.President! #Warn S Africa”.
It went on to say: “Could we pls be put in contact with law enforcement to be present at Mandela’s funeral to make arrangements for a demonstration?”
The protest threat was not welcomed by South Africans. Krishna Sarjoo (@Krishna_sarjoo) responded: “Yes yes come to our country and curse our Mandela!! We will show you what hell is!!”
Michelle Solomon (@mishsolomon) added: “Fat chance. We don’t allow hate speech, and you’re bound to incite violence. This isn’t America, dears.”
We have our doubts that the church will actually make it to South Africa for the funeral, which will be held in rural Qunu in the Eastern Cape on Sunday.
The church, however, went on to further outrage Twitter users by posting a series of inflammatory comments, including: “Thank God for killing Nelson Mandela, dropping him into an eternity of torment for his blasphemous unrepentant sins.”
A typical Westboro Baptist Church protest
It said that Mandela “Lived/died in adultery & glorified himself, teaching the world sin”.
The Church also called international mourning and media attention around Mandela’s death “idol worship”.
The Westboro Baptist Church, run by Fred Phelps and his family, is known for its virulently anti-gay campaigns asserting that “God hates fags”, protesting at gay friendly events and even demonstrating at funerals of US soldiers who were killed in action.
It previously described Cape Town as being “fag-infested” and said that “South Africa has become Sodom”.
Last year, Advocate magazine named Phelps one the 45 worst homophobes in the world.