Anti-gay US pastor Steven Anderson was unrepentant on Tuesday after Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said he would not be permitted to visit the country.
“I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa‚ but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana‚" Anderson said on the Facebook page of his Faithful Word Baptist Church. "Stand by for reports of MULTITUDES saved in Botswana‚ where religious freedom still exists." Anderson also quoted from the Acts of the Apostles: "And when they opposed themselves‚ and blasphemed‚ he shook his raiment‚ and said unto them‚ “Your blood be upon your own heads; I am clean; from henceforth I will go unto the Gentiles."
Gigaba announced his decision on the visit at Parliament in Cape Town after receiving two petitions from the lesbian‚ gays‚ bisexual‚ transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community with more than 60 000 signatures opposing the intended visit. “Mr Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. This prohibition will be implemented in terms of section 29(1)(d) of the Immigration Act‚” the minister said.
Anglican archbishop emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane had joined the chorus of those calling on government to deny entry to Anderson. Ndungane made the call after Anderson went on a rant about Gigaba — which he pronounces as Jigaba — calling him a “joke” in a video broadcast.
Anderson‚ who is also banned from the UK - and says he is not allowed even to take a connecting flight there - achieved notoriety when he welcomed the Orlando gay nightclub shooting earlier this year as having “rid the world of 50 sodomites”. Home Affairs said: “The basis of our work is on managing comments directed at the LGBTI community and their rights. The department has reaffirmed its unwavering support for the LGBTI community. “Our Constitution enjoins us to recognise the injustices of our past‚ honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land‚ and heal the divisions of the past and establish a society based on democratic values‚ social justice and fundamental human rights for all.” In one of his video sermons, Anderson claimed banning him wouldn't make a difference as he 'has already entered South Africa' because of the controversy surrounding his visit.