Pastor Steven L Anderson
There’s been frustration after the Minister of Home Affairs said that he can’t stop kill-the-gays pastor Steven Anderson from entering South Africa.
Minister Malusi Gigaba has responded to a petition urging the government to take action against the preacher’s 18 September “Soulwinning Marathon” in Johannesburg.
Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete told Times Lives: “The minister empathises with the LGBT community but firstly Americans do not need visas to come to South Africa or any form of permission from the department. We feel that the comments made by the pastor were uncalled for but the law doesn’t allow us to turn away anyone from entering the country based on what they have said.”
Tshwete went on to say: “The minister has consulted his lawyers and he is still looking for another possible option but at this point it’s going to be impossible to turn the pastor away as he has not been found to have done anything illegal in our country by any court or even in his own country.”
GaySA Radio Station Manager Hendrik Baird, who launched the petition, admitted that he was disappointed at the news.
“We still hope that there are other legal ways to stop this man from spreading his message of hate in the name of Christianity,” he told Mambaonline. “We hope that the Department of Home Affairs will deny him a work permit so that he at least can’t preach for money.”
Baird has also written to the SA Human Rights Commission in the hope that they may be able to assist in the campaign; a move that Minister Gigaba said he would support. “The next step is to get a coalition of human rights organisations to band together to present a united front against hate,” said Baird.
In the meantime, the owners of Festival Mall, where Anderson aimed to conduct some of his preaching and meetings has clarified its position.
In a media statement, Norbert Sasse, CEO of Growthpoint Properties, said that the company “does not tolerate discrimination of any kind” and does “not support any form of hate speech, and we believe every individual has the right to live the way they choose, according to our Constitution.”
Sasse denied claims that the mall will welcome Anderson. “To date, we have received no application from him, his organisation, or his followers to host a gathering on our property. If such a request is received, we assure you that permission will NOT be granted.
“Inferences have been made that Festival Mall supports his cause, and that the mall has agreed to the property being a meeting place for him and his followers. We categorically deny this. We do however, wish to emphasise that malls are public places, and that legally we are not in a position to deny him access as a private individual if he wishes to transact on the premises.”
Sasse further insisted: “We do not support Pastor L Anderson’s messages of hate in any way.” He added: “We do not allow any political or religious movements to canvas or preach on Growthpoint property, and if any attempt is made by Pastor L Anderson to do so, he will be summarily removed.”
Minister Malusi Gigaba
The chain restaurants where the preacher planned to hold his meetings, Wimpy and Spur, have also blocked him from doing so, while the Premier Hotel OR Tambo where he intended to stay and preach has cancelled his reservation.
The event page for Anderson’s “Soulwinning Marathon” has been inundated with hundreds of (often hilarious) comments and memes blasting his hatful views and promoting tolerance and support for the LGBT community. It’s well worth a look.
Anderson, who heads up Tempe’s Faithful Word Baptist Church, has stated that killing gay people would free the world from the AIDS epidemic. “…if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn’t have all this AIDS running rampant,” he said in 2014.
Most recently, Anderson praised the slaughter of 49 (at first thought to be 50) people at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando. “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,” he proclaimed in a YouTube video the day after the massacre.
He has also continued to state his belief that governments must execute gay people.
You can sign the petition to keep Anderson out of South African here.