A South African school is under fire from parents and LGBTI rights groups after it allowed a homophobic pastor to speak at an event, where he preached to students that LGBTI people go to hell.
According to reports by local media, the pastor spoke to pupils at an event hosted by the Christian organisation Christelike Studente Vereniging (CSV) at De Kuilen High School in Kuilsriver, Cape Town.
Following the event, the pastor was reportedly invited back to address students again at the school’s assembly, where it is claimed the pastor, touted as a “motivational speaker,” compared LGBTI people to murderers and paedophiles before saying they have “no place in heaven.”
He also allegedly stated that gay people are “as bad as Hitler” and that young individuals who have sex before marriage are viewed by God as prostitutes, and described sangomas as “devils and witches.”
Pupils who attended the second mandatory assembly are said to have been so shocked and hurt by the pastor’s comments that they have since been offered counselling by the school.
Following multiple complaints, the Western Cape Education Department has since stepped in with Bronagh Hammond, who is the Department’s Director of Communications, saying to Cape Talk that she was only aware of the Friday event at the school but confirmed that the department had received reports of “a lot of hate speech.”
Hammond added that while schools have the right to offer voluntary religious clubs and expression to students, these kinds of statements would be “disgusting” if proven to be true.
“We don’t want to shut down engagements like this, however, in this instance, of course, we want to shut down anyone that would come into our school and spew such vitriol.”
“We’re just hoping that the school uses this as an opportunity to showcase what intolerance can do and what hatred can come out of intolerance,” Hammond added.