SABC Allows use of Airwaves to Attract Listeners to Pastor’s Anti- LGBTI Agenda

The South African LGBT community is in an uproar about Riekert Botha, a radio evangelical from South Africa who has been spewing anti-gay comments at the expense of the South African taxpayer. South Africa, which  has a fully inclusive constitution outlaws discrimination against LGBTI people and have anti-hate speech laws to  protect groups against hate speech.

Botha  broadcasts a program on Derrich Gardner’s program, RSG (Afr) which airs on Saturdays between 9.30 am and 10 am, streaming on http://www.rsg.co.za/luister-nou.asp. The program is in the Afrikaans language which caters to mostly white South Africans.

Botha uses his platform on RSG (national state radio) to attract followers to his Facbook page where he has more than 7000 likes and then  on the Facebook pages spews, amongst other things,  homophobic commentary,  such as this statement on his Facebook page, as translated from the original Afrikaans:

“Beware of trying to be ‘en vogue.’ If you suffer from an inferiority complex being ‘en vogue’ won’t heal you. It is ‘fashionable’ to cohabitate and be promiscuous.  It is ‘trendy’ to be gay and to consider the Bible old-fashioned. It is ‘fashionable’ to have no scruples and declare yourself god.  It is ‘en vogue’ to be religious without *knowing* Jesus. It is ‘fashionable’ to proselytize peace without acknowledging the Prince of Peace. In God’s eyes being fashionable in this sense is very very unfashionable. You have to choose: ‘favorable’ in God’s eyes and ‘un-trendy’ in the eyes of people, or conversely. If you make a poor choice your misery will only worsen.”

(Afrikaans:  “Pasop om “in” te probeer wees. As jy aan minderwaardigheid lei gaan om “in” te wees jou nie genees nie. Dis “in” om saam te bly en rond te slaap. Dis “in” om gay te wees en die Bybel as oudtyds te beskou. Dis “in” om geen grense te hê nie en jouself as god te verklaar. Dis “in” om godsdienstig te wee sonder om Jesus te ken. Dis “in” om vredeliewendheid te predik sonder om die Prins van Vrede te erken. By God is “in” baie, baie “uit”. Jy moet kies: “in” by God en “uit” by die mense of andersom. Kies jy verkeerd sal jou mismoedigheid net vergroot.”)

Here is the page: (first post)  :http://www.facebook.com/PleisersVirSielBlad (Dis die eerste pos). And then under the post is a “come on” link to hit the radio site, stating “RSG – This is the one! Listen Now! “RSG – Dis die een! || Luister Nouwww.rsg.co.za

The South African Broadcasting Corporation is a public service and commercial broadcasting organization. The SABC’s core business is to deliver a variety of high quality programs and services through television, radio and new media platforms that informs, educates, entertains and supports the public interest.

When South African activists complained to  RSG station manager Magdaleen Kruger, she said that although she received a number of complaints via e-mail, it was no more than the amount the station normally receives.

GLAAD South Africa  and activists are calling for action and have sent complaints to the Station head. Coenie Kukkuk of Mr. Gay South Africa provided me with a copy of a which has been sent to the Station head and reads as follows:-

“It was with immense dismay that I saw Riekert Botha’s latest nonsensical tirade on his Facebook fan page. Botha makes the platform granted by RSG quite prominent on his Facebook fan page, subsequently his thoughtless comments could have an impact on the brand and image of RSG and the SABC by extension.

I have to object to RSG giving a platform to this misinformed individual. He might have noble intentions most of the time and bring about positive influence through his programme (pleisters vir die siel) but his latest statement makes his continued appearance on a platform funded by the state and the public increasingly untenable.

The state, and the public have a constitutional obligation to respect the rights of everyone and it is thus regrettable that a publicly funded radio station supplies a platform to a person who makes improper and insensitive comments based on his misguided personal beliefs.

It has never been en vogue to be gay, au contraire. The vast majority of LGBTI/Gay people suffer years of anguish, battering, social rejection and pariah status. What also baffles is that Botha groups “gay” with a motley assortment of societal leprosy. There is absolutely no connection between the mention of the vulnerable gay grouping and the rest of the tirade.

Botha might have made a serious error in judgment but we won’t know until he clarifies his view. In the meantime the continued platform supplied by RSG might be construed as tacit agreement.

The Constitution protects vulnerable groups and forbids discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also provides for freedom of religion. I do not dispute that Botha should have a right to his beliefs, I just don’t think he ought to use it in this context (which isn’t based on biblical text).

We believe we can live in harmony, united in our diversity and that there’s no need for disparaging demagoguery.

We urge of you to clarify your position on this matter.

If no response is received, we will have no option but to send the matter for review to the Press Ombudsman and the South African Human Rights Commission.”

While Botha may assert religious freedom perhaps he should be spewing his evangelical  interpretations inside the closed enclave of his Church, but not at the South African  taxpayers expense nor on the pages of the very public Facebook, in flagrant disregard of the SA constitution and what it represents.

Here are e-mail addresses to send your complaints:-  magdaleen@rsg.co.za; mterrance@sabc.co.za; smutlwane@sahrc.org.za; terrance@rsg.co.za; nuus@beeld.com; bccsa@nabsa.co.za

UPDATED
Here is Botha’s “apology”  per his Facebook:

After the last few days it has come to my attention that people of the conversations about homosexuality hurt. I’d like to respond:

1) It was by no means my intention or plan to get people hurt, and if you experienced me as I humbly ask for forgiveness. I am in the ministry of grace and share with many people their tears and worries – sometimes to the detriment of my own family. There are a lot of pain caused by sin, and I dare not hurt to add it.

2) If you understand my reaction, I reject gays, I strongly deny it. If God does not reject gays, how can I?

3) I believe unequivocally in the integrity and inspiration of Scripture as God’s Word that the Person, Character, Truth and Way of Jesus Christ to our opening. It includes Paul’s letters.

4) I believe that Jesus died and rose again to redeem us from all and any sins.

5) I believe that homosexuality is sin – as the scripture says.

6) I do not want to call sin something mean to someone to judge – especially if the Bible is very clear about it. (Translated from Afrikaans)

 

by Melanie Nathan
nathan@privatecourts.com
@melanienathan1

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

8 Comments on “SABC Allows use of Airwaves to Attract Listeners to Pastor’s Anti- LGBTI Agenda”

  1. Herman Lategan January 13, 2012 at 11:46 PM #

    Oh please, Riekert Botha is a prick. And she looks like a closet queen to me, the lady doth protest too much. Siestog.

  2. Coenie W. Kukkuk January 13, 2012 at 11:47 PM #

    Disgraceful – please send complaints to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa here: bccsa@nabsa.co.za. If it gets more international exposure, they may act. The radio station is state-funded and an arm of the official state broadcaster who is obliged to honour the consitution.

  3. Ezra January 13, 2012 at 11:48 PM #

    Well written. Love the part about: Botha uses his platform on RSG (national state radio) to attract followers to his Facbook page where he has more than 7000 likes and then on the Facebook pages spews, amongst other things, homophobic commentary, such as this statement on his Facebook page

  4. John C. Halkett January 13, 2012 at 11:50 PM #

    That’s no apology, all he does is trying to justify himself for his uninformed utterings against LGBTI community. I totally distance myself from the christian belief due to such homophobic slander by so called christian leaders.

  5. Carol January 15, 2012 at 10:32 AM #

    As far as I am concerned, it was NOT an anti-gay comment but scripture taken from the Bible. The tax-payers CERTAINLY do not pay for any of his programmes or appearances.

    • Melanie Nathan January 15, 2012 at 4:15 PM #

      Carol; SCRIPTURE Belongs in Church!!! Perhaps it is NOT t is anti-gay if you confine it to your church pulpit. But if you have an open radio show that everyone can hear, SABC – that being at taxpayer expense, and then you use that radio show to attract people to a very public facebook page where you make comments calling gays sinners, THEN it qualifies as anti-gay statements. PERIOD! Riekert Botha should save his biblical interpretation for HIS church and his congregants.

      I dont want my children hearing him call me a sinner because of how he interprets the bible. That is hateful to their ears because they have a two mommy family. I do not belong to his church or interpret the bible his way – therefor I am not a sinner – that is how I choose to see it. So he best keep his church door closed and speak to only those who want to hear what he has to say. I am not one of them. I listen to the radio and I use facebook and what he said is hateful to me.

      Carol clearly you are not the one who is a target of this public speech so please try and be a little more sensitive to those who are. You are welcome to Riekert’s pews – but keep him off OUR airwaves…. thanks for commenting here its appreciated.

      • Melanie Nathan January 15, 2012 at 7:08 PM #

        Your support and comments on my site are greatly appreciated! Thanks. Please visit again.

  6. Derk January 15, 2012 at 9:46 PM #

    The facts: Afrikaans is not a white-only language. There are about 3-4 million whites of whome 500,000 speak english as their 1st language. 10 million a good mix of people in SA have Afrikaans as their monther tongue (1st language).

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