05/10/2017 09:07 SAST | Updated 05/10/2017 09:07 SAST

Pastor Nala: 'I Have Gay Friends'

The religious leader says his "gay cure" statements have been misconstrued.

Twitter / Pastor Nala

Pastor Hamilton Nala broke down in tears after widespread criticism of his holy cures, which -- according to him -- shattered his family life and complicated his divine relationship with God.

"I was misquoted, I was framed," Nala said to HuffPost SA, before breaking down, saying: "I'm a father, a husband, but I am being depicted as a citizen who despises people."

Nala's comments caused a social media storm after an episode of's "Checkpoint" exposed his church's adverts for holy water that could "cure" gay people from an "illness" that Nala and his congregants likened to the Aids virus on the show.

"I never told people to drink my water, and they will be healed from homosexuality, but I did say that some people have been delivered from homosexuality," Nala said.

"I was painted as a person who incites violence against homosexual people. In fact, if you check with 'Checkpoint', I took it on myself that I condemn violence against gay people."

The TV series analysed how the pastor went about extricating a "gay demon" from one of his followers, just one of his estimated 30,000 congregants.

"I have come to realise, homosexuality is a spirit, whether you are born with it, whether you got it after you were born -- it's like Aids," he said on the show.

"I have gay people who are my friends. I have a radio station, and two of the managers at the station are gay. I have a woman [friend] who is a homosexual, and we have never fought about my views. I don't understand," the pastor since told HuffPost SA.

Nala also claimed that he had stood up for gay rights in the past.

"Homosexuality is not an illness, it is like a habit, according to our experience, and we are seeing that homosexuals within our society are telling us that they are being delivered."

Same-sex feelings are both acquired and genetic, the pastor suggested.

"Someone can be born blind, lame, and if you search for why gay people are gay on the internet, no one will explain why someone is born this way. But it is abnormal, so we do something for those who want help. There are those who like dagga, but I have seen those who developed those along the way, who can be helped.

"I feel in South Africa, they want to criminalise those who want to heal with the gift God has given us. If they can't prove it scientifically, then they want to criminalise it, but I will carry on."