South African Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, has acknowledged the thousands of signatures delivered by activists.

Gigaba announced yesterday that U.S. pastor Steven Anderson will be denied entry into South Africa. The decision comes as a result of a campaign launched by global LGBT organization All Out, in partnership with Gay SA Radio. Steven Anderson gained notoriety after celebrating the massacre at a gay club in Orlando, saying ‘there’s now 50 less pedophiles in the world’. He planned to go to South Africa on what he described as a ‘soul winning’ trip.

“We’ve seen how U.S. religious extremists have fuelled violence and hate against LGBT people in other parts of Africa. It’s inspiring to see that the South African Government has made a stand for human rights and for the protection of their hate speech laws and constitution,” said Matt Beard, All Out’s Executive Director.

All Out’s partner, Gay SA Radio’s Station Manager Hendrik Baird, also lauded Minister Malusi Gigaba “for taking this matter seriously and for coming to the right decision that is in the best interests of South Africa.”

In his announcement, Minister Gigaba said “we have a duty to prevent harm and hatred in all forms against LGBTI, as any other person in a democratic state,” adding that “I have considered carefully the merits of this matter. Steven Anderson and members/associates of his church are prohibited from entering the Republic of South Africa. I have identified Anderson and associates as undesirable persons. Undesirable persons are barred from travelling to South Africa.” He also acknowledged the importance of the more than 60,000 signatures he received last week in raising the issue.

The decision was based on section 29(1)(d) of South Africa’s Immigration Act, which allows the country to deny entry to any foreigner who is a “member of or adherent to an association or organization advocating the practice racial hatred or social violence.”

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