Pastor Steven Anderson
The Department of Home Affairs says that Minister Malusi Gigaba will announce his decision on banning American pastor Steven Anderson on Tuesday.
The news comes in the wake of Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane asserting his support for blocking the hate evangelist from coming into the country.
“Our Constitution‚ of which we are all immensely proud‚ makes it quite clear that there will be no discrimination against people of a different sexuality. Neither does it allow hate speech in South Africa. How‚ then‚ can we allow such an openly homophobic and anti-gay person the right to speak on public platforms in our country?” asked Ndungane in a statement.
“South Africa is a society facing many challenges‚ including that of poverty. We don’t need to have a man such as Pastor Anderson stirring up conflict and division through hate speech. I therefore call on Minister Gigaba to deny him entry to the country,” said the Archbishop.
He added: “Clearly‚ Pastor Anderson has yet to experience the liberating freedom of the love of Jesus Christ‚ a man who accepted all people without reservation.”
The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa (TEASA) also criticised Anderson and warned that his “hatred for LGBTs may be spread here”.
“The constitution lays the basis on which South Africa’s many cultures agreed to live together. White-black, religious and secular, LGBT and straight, rich and poor, we all stand as one rainbow nation,” the organisation said.
“As South Africans we accept that people with LGBT orientations have rights to dignity and freedom, as indeed all other South Africans.”
According to Home Affairs, Gigaba will make his announcement about the pastor at a press conference in Cape Town on Tuesday morning. He has been asked by LGBT activists and 60,000 petition signatories to ban the pastor and his group from coming into the country on the grounds of hate speech.
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.
Anderson has stated that killing gay people would free the world from the AIDS epidemic. Most recently, he praised the Orlando massacre as “good news” because “there’s 50 less paedophiles in this world”. Anderson has continued to preach that governments must execute gay people.