Inaccurate reporting has led American hate pastor Steven Anderson to prematurely believe that he’s been victorious over South Africa’s “sodomites” and “perverts”.
In a new YouTube video, Anderson gleefully announced that efforts to have him banned from South Africa had failed – but he appears to not have all the facts.
“Once again leaders of the government met with LGBT sodomites and they are trying to get me banned from entering South Africa,” he said.
“So the South Africa Human Rights Commission and the minister of internal affairs and whatever got together and once again they decided that I will not be banned from entering South Africa.
“So I am going to be able to personally be there and be part of this event,” he insisted.
His comments seem to be based on incorrect reports by some local media, such as News24, stating that Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba had decided to allow Anderson intro the country “if he behaved himself”.
Those reports were in turn based on an initial press release issued by the Department of Home Affairs prepared before its meeting on Monday with LGBT activists.
That release was then revised and reissued shortly after the meeting when Gigaba was convinced to delay his decision until activists were able to present a dossier with supporting information about Anderson, to be submitted later this week.
Even if he is allowed into the country, Gigaba said that Anderson will likely be prohibited from preaching without a work permit and would definitely be arrested if he makes any hate speech comments.
“We will consider very carefully the dossier presented to us,” Gigaba said at a press conference after Monday’s meeting, “and based on the dossier we will take the relevant decision to ensure that homophobes either are not allowed in South Africa or if they enter the country, they enter with very stringent restrictions as to what they can do or say.”
Anderson is also increasingly running out of options for venues in Johannesburg to peddle his hate, following a slew of cancellations and refusals to host him. In the video, he railed against Sugacube Café in Boksburg, where he planned to hold a meeting.
“We were going to meet at Sugacube Café. But it turns out that they love perversion and hate the word of God. So they have banned us from entering their restaurant,” he said.
He went on to state that he and his followers would instead meet outside the restaurant in the parking lot of the El Ridge Corner Shopping Centre and eat at another restaurant in the centre, but even this plan has been stymied.
Hendrik Baird of GaySA Radio, which had led the campaign against Anderson, revealed that Carla Delgado of El Ridge Corner Shopping Centre “has just confirmed they will not allow Anderson and his group entry to their centre or parking area”.
Baird urged Anderson to follow his own advice that he previously posted on his blog, in which the preacher said: “The Bible clearly teaches that if people aren’t interested, you move on. Instead of going to a country where your church has to be underground, you could get more people saved by going to a receptive area where it is legal to preach.”
Anderson, who heads up the Arizona-based Faithful Word Baptist Church and preaches that gay people should be executed, is set to visit Johannesburg in a missionary style excursion on 18 September to “win souls” for his hateful cause. He is expected to arrive with up to 20 of his followers from the US.