By Melanie Nathan, September 13, 2016.
South Africa has barred the controversial US pastor Steven Anderson from visiting the county, because of his critical remarks about homosexuality, noting he is considered an “undesirable person” under the Immigration Act.
Minister of Home Affairs Malusi Gigaba has announced that American gay hate pastor Steven Anderson, and his followers, will not be allowed into South Africa, reports MambaOnline, noting the community celebration after a hard fought victory by South African human rights defenders. The home affairs minister said he revoked the visa waiver, as the constitution prohibits hate speech. Mr Anderson runs the Faithful Word Baptist Church, which espouses homosexuality as an abomination punishable by the death penalty. Anderson has, along with the bevvy of other hate speech, praised the Orlando massacre.
Mambaonline notes that this historic move to ban Anderson follows a determined campaign by LGBT activists, led primarily by GaySA Radio, to stop the preacher, who calls for the execution of gay people, from spreading his shocking views in the country:
Anderson, who heads up the Arizona-based Faithful Word Baptist Church, was set to visit Johannesburg with 17 associates in a missionary style excursion on 18 September to “win souls” for his hateful cause. He and his supporters then planned to go to Botswana to set up a branch of his extremist church.
At a press conference in Parliament on Tuesday, Gigaba said: “Steven Anderson and members and / or associates from his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa,” adding that, “Steven Anderson will be advised that he is a prohibited person in South Africa.”
Gigaba cited the protection of LGBT people from discrimination in the Constitution and the Equality Act, which bans hate speech, as the basis for his decision.
“We have a duty to prevent harm and hatred in all forms against LGBTI, as any other person in a democratic state,” said Gigaba, including, he explained, needing to “prohibit foreigners who are likely to promote hate speech”.
Gigaba revealed that not only had he declared Anderson an “undesirable person” under the Immigration Act (as someone who advocates “social violence”), but that he had also withdrawn his visa waiver status, granted to US citizens.
“South Africa does not need more hatred advocated to our people,” said Gigaba, confirming that if the pastor attempted to enter the country he would be detained and deported.
The ban is a significant blow to efforts by American evangelists, who are facing growing resistance in their home country, to export anti-LGBT ideologies to Africa.
GaySA Radio’s Station Manager Hendrik Baird, who participated in the press conference with Gigaba, said that the minister’s decision was “a giant step forward, sending a clear message to the world that we will not encourage hate, bigotry and intolerance disguised in any form.”
He went on to say: “As South Africans, we are proud that our government has today sent a strong message to our citizens and the rest of the world, namely that LGBTI people are as much South Africans as anybody else, and that we are deserving of the same rights and respect as everybody else. When push comes to shove, we stand together as a nation and do what is right. I cannot tell you how encouraging this is.” READ MORE
Its important to note, that unlike the USA, hate speech in South Africa has consequences, and people are not free to use speech that incites violence.
Here is Anderson’s lament on his Facebook page:
Congratulations to all in South Africa and around the globe for this successful campaign.
UPDATED 9/20/2016 : Anderson made his way to Botswana and after a violent incident involving his temper – he is now being deported: READ MORE