We have noted with extreme rage the latest CheckPoint episode on e.tv. As a collective, we are disgusted by the endless efforts by a national broadcaster to continuously provide the barbaric Pastor Nala a platform to mislead our people.
We note that this is the same individual whom, despite the knowledge that the cure for HIV and Aids has not been discovered, lured our people into believing that he can use water to cure the pandemic. In our view, these sentiments and stunts seek to undermine our people, who are desperate for real solutions to their daily problems.
They often resort to the faith sector for these solutions and, unfortunately, the unconventional methods employed by these pastors recently continue to preach false prophecy to our people. This was exposed by the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of Religious and Linguistic Rights through its summoning of these churches recently.
The recent episode of CheckPoint that aired on October 3 2017 is an attempt to destroy the efforts by many of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) activists in getting society to accept LGBTI individuals and be tolerant towards sexual diversity in our communities. We believe that effects resulting from the airing of this show have the greatest ability to destroy innocent lives and perpetuate hate-motivated crimes.
We condemn the barbaric and unfounded notion that Pastor Nala can "heal" homosexuality. Although we believe that Pastor Nala, like all South Africans, is entitled to an opinion and association, we find it to be extremely problematic if his views threaten the lives of the many others who are sexual minorities.
The theological basis on which all churches function is founded on the principles of love and unity, and It is under this premise that we view the continuous condemning of same-sex relationships in the country by religious and traditional leaders as doing more harm than good.
Same-sex desire has always been part of what Africans engage in, even before colonisation.
We are aware of the historical timeline into the arrival of religion in Africa, Christianity in particular. This awareness may prompt us to raise pertinent debates and questions based on the notion often raised by these religious and traditional leaders, their notion that homosexuality is "unAfrican" is, in fact, relevant to religion more than homosexuality.
However, we will not engage in this debate as it will infringe on the constitutional freedom of those who follow Pastor Nala and many others who are false prophets, as first highlighted in the book of Revelations, warning Christian masses about "the arrival of such in the last days".
Our view remains that between religion and same-sex relations in Africa, religion is the one enterprise that by narrative and history came with colonisation. Same-sex desire has always been part of what Africans engage in, even before colonisation.
Over time, the same imported principles of Christianity imposed that our people should stop doing what they had been doing over centuries, including appeasing their ancestral and spiritual beliefs, thus deviating from the principles of ubuntu and working in unison to destroying their way of living.
As a collective, we believe that in contemporary South Africa, churches have an incredible role to play in rebuilding the social fabric of our society and uniting our people as a way of correcting the many wrongs as a result of the church globally (the known religious genocides, questioning the identities of people and excluding them from their communities, et cetera).
As such we condemn and call upon Pastor Nala to revoke his statements that may have caused harm and ask that the e.tv channel facilitate this process before the situation escalates.
Mpho Buntse is the spokesperson for the ANC LGBTI Forum.