Counselling has been offered to pupils after a pastor invited to speak at a high school in Cape Town allegedly likened members of the LGBTI+ community to paedophiles who were going to hell.
The pastor allegedly told pupils affiliated to the school’s Christian student body that there was “no place in heaven” for gay people‚ and that youngsters who had sex before marriage were prostitutes.
Details about what was allegedly relayed by the pastor were revealed in an email read out on Cape Talk radio on Tuesday. He also allegedly offended pupils by describing sangomas as “devils and witches”.
Western Cape education department director of communication Bronagh Hammond said the pastor’s comments about the LGBTI+ community and sex had been reported “to the principal as well as our district office".
“We have offered support and counselling for those learners‚” she added. She said the department was not aware of a second visit by the pastor during which he allegedly described sangomas as witches.
“There is a lot of hurt and anxiety around this but we just hope that the school uses this as an opportunity to just showcase what intolerance can do‚ and what hatred can come out of intolerance‚” said Hammond.
Explaining the department’s policy on religion in schools‚ she said people were allowed to have freedom of expression‚ but at the same time principals were warned to be cautious when dealing with controversial topics that could hurt people’s feelings.
She said pupils had the right not to partake in religious activities‚ should they not wish to.
The school principal was in a staff meeting when Cape Talk tried to contact him earlier in the day.
This is a developing story.
Source: TMG Digital.