Human Rights Commission wants answers from Home Affairs on gay hate pastor

SAHRC Chairman Lawrence Mushwana

SAHRC Chairman Lawrence Mushwana

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has written to Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba about his earlier claim that he is unable to block gay hate Pastor Steven Anderson’s upcoming visit to South Africa.

The SAHRC has received a number of complaints from the public about the trip to Johannesburg by the American preacher who calls for the execution of gay people.

In a letter to Gigaba, SAHRC Chairman Lawrence Mushwana wrote that, according to various sections of the Immigration Act, the minister can indeed declare an individual a “prohibited person”.

“Based on the Commissions’ interpretation of these provisions, the Commission is of the view that, contrary to the reported views of the Department, the Immigration Act empowers the Department to prevent foreigners, within the categories specified, from entering the Republic,” said Mushwana.

He went on to express his “regret” that a planned meeting between the minister, the SAHRC and LGBT representatives that had been scheduled for 18 July had not gone ahead.

The meeting was cancelled at the last minute, apparently due to Gigaba’s ill health. Despite a promise by his spokesperson to reschedule, no new date has yet been set.

Mushwana further asked that Home Affairs provide him with a “detailed report” on whether the minister has decided to block Anderson, the reason for the decision and what steps it intends to take.

“In light of the urgency of the matter, we request a written response from the Department on or before 28 July 2016,” said Mushwana.

Pastor Steven L Anderson

Pastor Steven L Anderson

In a separate letter to those who’ve filed complaints to the SAHRC, its Acting Provincial Manager, Kisha Candasamy, thanked the complainants “for approaching the Commission and speaking out against homophobia and hate speech”.

Candasamy added: “Our offices will provide you with progress in this matter shortly.”

Anderson, who heads up Tempe’s Faithful Word Baptist Church, is set to visit Johannesburg in a missionary style evangelical excursion on 18 September to “win souls” for his hateful cause.

More than 51,000 people have now signed two petitions calling for Home Affairs to block Anderson’s visit. You can sign them here and here.

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