Meet Steven Anderson, the controversial American anti-gay pastor. Barely few weeks after he was banned from entering South Africa for allegedly criticizing homosexuality and promoting hate speech, the pastor is in the eyes of the storm again for the same reason in Botswana.
But this time around, he is to be deported.
Steven Anderson: A “prohibited immigrant?”
The government of Botswana has ordered that the pastor should be deported from the country, declaring him “prohibited immigrant.” Though the government's statement does not explain why he was declared a “prohibited immigrant” many linked the action to his stance against homosexuality.
For instance, they observe the statement was consequent upon his arrested after doing a radio interview in the capital, Gaborone. Anderson had during the programme reinstated his stance against homosexuality, describing the act as an abomination punishable by death penalty.
The morning show was hosted by GabzFM station together with a local pastor and an LGBT activist. The show's presenter, Reginald Richardson, told BBC that Mr Anderson expressed disdain for homosexuals during the show and said that they should be “stoned to death.”
His statement sparked controversy, as many criticized him for holding a dissenting view capable of breaching public peace.
According to Botswana's private Mmegi newspaper, security agents apprehended him after the show.
The Botswana saga whipped up the controversies that trailed Anderson's rejection from entering South Africa, after the country had earlier described him and his associates as an “undesirable person.”
The country's Home Affairs Minister, Malusi Gigaba, said after consultation with leaders of the nation's lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, he decided Anderson was rejected due to his critical remarks about homosexuality.
“I have identified Steven Anderson as an undesirable person to travel to South Africa,” he said.
BBC's Milton Nkosi in Johannesburg said Mr Anderson was invited by a local church to visit this month, but two petitions with more than 60,000 signatures, organised by gay and human rights activists in South Africa, had called for the trip to be cancelled.
Following the incident, many are of the view he might yet be rejected the same way in other countries of the world that legalized same-sex marriage.
It would be recalled that South Africa on November 14, 2006 joined the list of African countries to legalize same-sex marriage.
Following his ban, Anderson decided to visit Botswana. He posted on his facebook page, “I feel sorry for people who live in South Africa, but thank God we still have a wide open door in Botswana.”
Mr Anderson's church is based in the US state of Arizona and describes itself as an “old-fashioned, independent, fundamental, King James Bible only, soul-winning Baptist church.”
The Pastor was first criticized in the US after he praised the shooting that left dozens dead at an Orlando gay club in June.