15 July 2016
By Taliesin Cormach - QL SA
In response to South Africa's LGBTI citizens' request via an online petition to bar an American Hate Speech pastor from entering the country in September, South Africa's Minister of Home Affairs‚ Malusi Gigaba‚ said he cannot legally turn away the 'homophobic' pastor.
News of the infamous gay hater, pastor Steven Anderson (pictured above) coming to South Africa on a “soul winning mission” later this year broke earlier this week prompting an almost immediate social media outcry and an online petition requesting Gigaba to stop the hate mongering pastor from coming to the country due to his violent outbursts and threats against gay people.
While the Department of Home Affairs expressed support for the online petition meant to stop American anti-gay pastor Steven Anderson from coming to South Africa, it says it may not have the power to deny him the visa.
Department of Home Affairs spokesperson Mayihlome Tshwete said the minister is not in a position to turn away the Arizona-based pastor. He said:
"The minister empathises with the LGBT community but firstly Americans do not need visas to come to South Africa or any form of permission from the department. We feel that the comments made by the pastor were uncalled for but the law doesn’t allow us to turn away anyone from entering the country based on what they have said."
He also said the minister is looking at other options:
"The minister has consulted his lawyers and he is still looking for another possible option but at this point it’s going to be impossible to turn the pastor away as he has not been found to have done anything illegal in our country by any court or even in his own country."
In the mean time Tshwete said the ministry advices the LGBT community to approach the South African Human Rights Commission which the minister will support.
Meanwhile the owners of the Festival Mall in Kempton Park intend to stop the gay hating pastor who's scheduled to make appearances there, from entering its premises.
Growthpoint Properties CEO Norbet Sasse said in a statement:
“We do not allow any political or religious movements to canvas or preach on Growthpoint property, and if any attempt is made by Pastor L Anderson to do so, he will be summarily removed.”
However, up until now, they had not received any application from him, his organisation, or his followers, to host a gathering at the mall.