Minister Malusi Gigaba
The Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has been announced as the first recipient of the Pretoria LGBTI Pride/GaySA Radio Human Rights Award.
Gigaba has been applauded for his recent decision to bar American gay-hate pastor Steven Anderson and his followers from South Africa. Anderson calls for the death penalty for LGBTI persons and has repeatedly uttered hate-speak against this community.
After GaySA Radio gathered more than 60,000 signatures and submitted a dossier of evidence against Anderson, Gigaba announced that the pastor and his group had been declared undesirable and their visa exemption status was revoked.
“Minister Gigaba taking the lead in this matter and stopping the Anderson party from spreading their hate speech in the country was ground-breaking and indirectly led to Anderson and his associates subsequently being deported from Botswana,” said GaySA Radio’s Henrik Baird in a statement.
The newly created annual Human Rights Award has been awarded to Gigaba “for standing up for the LGBTI community and using the laws at his disposal to protect their rights, reiterating that LGBTI rights are protected not only in principle but also in practice”.
While Gigaba was widely praised for banning Anderson, Home Affairs continues to be plagued by biased officials who discriminate against LGBTI South Africans, especially when it comes to same-sex marriages, LGBTI refugees and acknowledging the gender identity of transgender individuals.
Baird admitted that there is still much to be done in the department to better serve LGBTI persons, but he noted the minister’s public commitment to resolve these matters. “We urge the minister to keep doing the work required to serve all South Africans equally under the law,” Baird added.
Gigaba has been invited to accept the award in person at the fourth annual Pretoria LGBTI Pride event to be held at the Centurion Rugby Club on Saturday 1 October.