Activists to present 60,000 petition signatures to minister of Home Affairs

Minister Malusi Gigaba

Minister Malusi Gigaba

The long awaited meeting between activists opposed to gay hate pastor Steven Anderson’s trip to South Africa and the minister of Home Affairs is finally going ahead.

The activists, led by GaySA Radio Station Manager Hendrik Baird, and supported by attorney Coenie Kukkuk, as well as representatives from the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will meet Minister Malusi Gigaba on Monday morning.

Gigaba had previously agreed to a meeting in July, but cancelled at the last minute, apparently due to ill health.

On Monday, he will be presented with two petitions signed by more than 58,000 people (and counting) calling on him to block the homophobic preacher’s entry into the country. The SAHRC has also received a number of complaints about the pastor’s visit.

“We are overwhelmed by not only the support from South Africans but also from people in the rest of the world. It shows that hate does not have a place in the LGBTI community and people are standing up for their rights,” Baird told Mambaonline. “We’re also very pleased with the support from the human rights commission.”

The minister has claimed that he cannot stop Anderson’s visit as American citizens do not require visas to come to South Africa. Baird believes, however, that the Immigration Act empowers Gigaba to ban the evangelist on the grounds of “advocating the practice of racial hatred or social violence”.

“I am optimistic that the minister will be able to take the necessary steps to prevent Pastor Anderson and his group from spreading their message of hate in South Africa and that there is a commitment from the powers that be to protect LGBTI rights in this country,” said Baird.

Pastor Steven L Anderson

Pastor Steven Anderson

Anderson, who heads up the Arizona-based Faithful Word Baptist Church, is set to visit Johannesburg in a missionary style excursion on 18 September to “win souls” for his  hateful cause. He and his supporters then plan to go to Botswana to set up a branch of his extremist church.

On Thursday, LGBTI groups in Botswana launched their own petition against Anderson’s visit to their country.

Anderson 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 Orlando massacre as “good news” because “there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world”. He has continued to preach that governments must execute gay people.

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