Hamilton Nala (Facebook)
A small group of protesters has picketed outside Christian pastor Hamilton Nala’s Durban church after he claimed his “holy water” can “cure” homosexuality.
According to The Mercury, Nala, who heads the Nala Mandate International church and describes himself as “a king, apostle, and a prophet”, made the claim in a sermon.
He reportedly called on those “suffering” from homosexuality, either within themselves or among their family members, to come forward.
“They can bring them to Nala Mandate. I’ve got good news: faith water has delivered people from homosexuality,” he told his congregation.
Nala is known for making outrageous claims, including that his “faith water”, which his followers must purchase, can raise the dead. He has also sold “holy pens” (that will, he said, help students pass their exams) and peddles other “faith products”, including oils, lotions, honey and perfume.
On Sunday, members of the KZN LGBT Recreation group staged a protest outside the church premises, outraged by Nala perpetuating the idea that homosexuality can be “cured”.
“Being gay is not a sickness, it is not man-made; it is nature,” said Hlengiwe Buthelezi, the group’s chairperson. “The pastor is misleading people. He is perpetuating false hope, especially among young people who cannot stand on their own. I and my colleagues find this appalling. It is wrong!”
Buthelezi told Mambaonline that Nala’s words could have devastating consequences for the LGBTQ community, especially among the youth.
“It perpetuates hate speech and leads to hate crimes. It will lead to people being victimised. Parents will take their children to the pastor and if the kids hold their ground, they will be kicked out of home.”
Buthelezi revealed that the protestors on Sunday cheekily asked church officials to give them the holy water, “to see if it works,” but were refused. “It is a contradiction! They say that it heals homosexuals, but when we asked for it they said they cannot give the water to homosexuals.”
In a rambling statement posted on his church’s Facebook page on Monday, Nala responded to the protest. He said that while he acknowledged that homosexuality was allowed in South Africa, “that cannot be done in the premises of Nala Mandate International”.
He went on to describe homosexuality as “misguided”, “abnormal”, a “perversion” and “wrong”. He cited Sodom and Gomorrah in calling two people of the same sex sleeping together an “abomination”.
Shockingly, Nala also advised his congregants in the statement on “how to fight homosexuality”. This includes promoting “gender difference” and urging parents to “correct gestures” and “train your child to be proud of his/her gender”.
He further called on parents to “promote masculinity”, to “not feminise boys” and to “promote womanhood”. Nala explained that “the dignity of a woman is not to fight or try to be a man” and “your powerful weapon as a woman is submission”.
In a sermon on Sunday, Nala also lashed out at transgender people, stating: “It is my belief that God would not create a woman with breasts and a womb just for decoration purposes, so that you can take it out when you want.”
Buthelezi said she was appalled at the bigoted Facebook statement and argued that Nala’s stance towards women in particular could be used to justify so called “corrective rape” against lesbians.
Buthelezi is planning to work with other LGBTQ groups in KZN on the matter and will file a formal Equality Court complaint against Nala.