South Africa has barred controversial U.S. pastor Steven Anderson from visiting the county after civil society groups campaigned against homophobic remarks he had made.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba made the announcement Sept. 13 in Cape Town on the pastor who denigrated Archbishop Desmond Tutu as "a pervert in a pink dress."
Gigaba said, "Mr. Steven Anderson and members and/or associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa."
Anglican Archbishop Emeritus Njongonkulu Ndungane was quick to welcome the decision by the government to decline permission for Anderson's to visit South Africa.
Ndungane had made a call a week earlier for a visa to be denied to the openly homophobic American pastor, who attacked his predecessor Tutu for his stance on homosexuality.
"People who openly attack people on the basis of their sexuality' such as Pastor Anderson' should not be given a platform in South Africa to stir up antagonism towards LGBT people.
"I welcome the very firm stance that Home Affairs has taken on this matter'" he said.
Before the ban the Evangelical Alliance of South Africa said it regrets that Anderson's "hatred for LGBTs may be spread here."
The head of the alliance Moss Ntlha in a statement said it condemned Anderson's "gay hating attitude." He said, "The constitution lays the basis on which South Africa's many cultures agreed to live together. White-black, religious and secular, LGBT and straight, rich and poor, we all stand as one rainbow nation.
"As South Africans we accept that people with LGBT orientations have rights to dignity and freedom, as indeed all other South Africans."
Anderson had planned to visit South Africa, but ANA news agency reported that "owing to his homophobic views" there had been uncertainty over his planned visit."
HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION PETITION
The South African Human Rights Commission petitioned the government to ban Anderson from entering the country.
LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) groups also secured a 60,000 signature petitions asking the Department of Home Affairs to deny him entry into the country.
The home affairs department had initially said that it would be attaching "serious conditions" to Anderson's visit.
Anderson, was scheduled to preach in Johannesburg on September 18.
His church is based in the state of Arizona and he describes itself as an "old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church," the BBC reported.
The pastor made headlines after he reportedly told congregants at his Arizona-based Faithful Word Baptist Church that there are were less pedophiles in this world after the June 12 terror attack at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida that left 49 people dead.
"The good news is that there's 50 less pedophiles in this world, because, you know, these homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts and pedophiles," Anderson said in a video published on YouTube.
Last week Anderson claimed that if the department wanted to bar him from visiting South Africa they would have done so already.
He also released a scathing nine-minute YouTube video on Sept. 13 where he labelled South African minister Gigaba as "a joke", "wicked" and "politically backwards."
He said he would go to neighboring Botswana instead of South Africa.
"I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana. Stand by for reports of MULTITUDES saved in Botswana, where religious freedom still exists," he said on the Faithful Word Baptist Church Facebook page.