The Department of Home Affairs says it will not react to attacks on its political head, Minister Malusi Gigaba, by homophobic American evangelist Steven Anderson.
The lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) community has been lobbying the Home Affairs minister to to deny the gay-bashing Faithful World Baptist Church pastor access to South Africa. Anderson stirred controversy when he celebrated the massacre of 50 gay people at a night club in the US in June.
He is expected in South Africa next week, despite a petition signed by 60 000 people asking for him to be banned from entering the country. The minister has met with the LGBTI community to address their concerns.
Shortly afterwards Anderson said that if Gigaba wanted to ban him from entering SA he would have done so a long time ago. However, Gigaba has warned the controversial pastor to behave in accordance with South African law when he visits the country. It was reported that the minster had set conditions for the visit but that these have been met with contempt.
Anderson said the minister only gave false hope to the LGBTI community who had called for government to deny him entry into the country. In a rambling online video, Anderson has described the minister as a “joke” and as “backward”.
“He is just stringing these sodomites along and it is funny how they don’t get the hint,” Anderson says in the video clip. “It’s so funny how this minister Gigaba said that my views, my Christian views, my Biblical views, he said they’re backward views . . . You’re the one that’s backward Gigaba. You are the one who thinks that a dude should be intimate with another dude. That’s ass-backwards, okay, it’s this sodomite agenda that’s completely backward.”
Anderson vowed that his planned 18 September event in Johannesburg would still go ahead.
The Home Affairs department said it was still engaging the LGBTI organisations and other stakeholders, but had nothing but scorn for Anderson’s abuse of the minister. “The basis of our work is on managing comments directed at the LGBTI community and their rights. We are not prepared to expend our energy on dealing with irrational aspersions directed at the minister.
“If we were to react to every insult directed at the minister or the department, then South Africa will indeed become an empty country,” the statement read.
Pledging their unwavering support for the LGBTI community, the department said, “Our Constitution enjoins us to recognise the injustices of our past and honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our land.”