‘Allowing anti-gay Pastor Anderson into SA diminishes work on equal rights’

The Department of Home Affairs has decided to ban Pastor Stephen Anderson from entering SA.

FILE: American pastor, Steven Anderson. Picture: Screengrab via YouTube.

CAPE TOWN/JOHANNESBURG - Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says if government allows an anti-gay pastor from the United States into South Africa, it would diminish the work to achieve equal rights for all South Africans.

Gigaba has announced his department consulted the South African Human Rights Commission and members of the LGBTI community before it decided to ban Pastor Steven Anderson.

The Faithful Word Baptist Church Pastor says his intended visit to South Africa was not aimed at speaking out against homosexuality.

Instead, he says he planned to embark on his self-proclaimed "soul winning marathon".

Gigaba says if Anderson wants to visit the county in the future, he has to go through the right channels.

"Protection of human rights is a pathway to a more humane and just society. Our Constitution, which is the supreme law of our country, guarantees equality."

The minister added that between 2012 and 2015, there was a sharp increase in South Africans who support same sex marriages.

Gigaba says anyone else belonging to his ministry will also not be allowed into the country.

"Anybody else who belongs to that church, should we know, we will leave them with the exact same ban because they belong to an organisation and/or association that advocates racial hatred and/or social violence."

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The Home Affairs Minister says the homophobic US pastor will be detained and deported, should he come anywhere near the country's ports of entry.

Gigaba says the department will notify all airlines about Anderson's ban and that he may under no circumstance enter the country.

He says Anderson's visit is of no benefit to the country and will only fuel more hatred towards the minority groups.

"The gentleman makes very discouraging remarks, he's a holocaust denialist and the only person who can survive this man's wroth is someone who is a white male Baptist Church member.

The department says the ban stands indefinitely and will only be lifted if Anderson repents for the statements.

"There is no way he can enter the country as animal, plant or some air."