Controversial Pastor Oscar Bougardt has been ordered by the Cape High Court not to preach against homosexuality for two months.
Bougardt, of the Calvary Hope Ministries who is facing charges of hate speech and contravening a court order, appeared at the Cape High Court on Friday.
Bougardt who has been hauled to court by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) took his place in the dock before Judge Lee Bozalek.
Bougardt landed in trouble in 2014 over homophobic remarks on social media and was ordered by a court order to refrain from publishing statements that are discriminatory or incites hatred or harm on the grounds of sexual orientation.
At the time of the offence, he said on Facebook that homosexuality was a “curse”, a “disgrace” and that gays were “perverts” and that homosexual relationships were from hell.”
Bougardt has now been charged with contempt of court after he apparently made further statements.
If he is found guilty, Bougardt could face 30 days behind bars and pay a R500 000 fine.
This refers to statements and comments he made on an article published on an online magazine two years ago.
Bougardt, who had no legal representative in court on Friday, told Bozalek his lawyer who he was yet to ask to be his defence, was abroad on a conference.
Bozalek ordered that Bougardt be back in court on May 14 with his lawyer or seek legal aid.
He further stated that Bougardt be refrained from making public statements about homosexuality for the next two months or face more charges.
“I will order that you undertake not to express yourself publically on homosexuality,” he said.
“If you break his, you will face further charges.”
Bougardt said he would refrain from doing so.
He then asked if he could preach in church: “I preach in church.”
But Bozalek told Bougardt the court would listen to how his defence would present that argument: “Your counsel can argue that and you can say what you can in your home.”
Members of the SAHRC said they would wait for May 14 but was worried Bougardt would make further statements publically.
Bougardt was supported by a group of pastors at court who said the SAHRC together with the court was attacking the word of God.
Pastor Ferlon Christians, the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) says: “I am here because I wanted to see first hand what this is about.
“For us as the ACDP, is this an attack on Christianity, this is not about individuals. It is an attack on our Christian belief. If there is an attack, we must defend that. If pastors are prohibited from preaching what is in the Bible, we need to protect that.”
Pastor Joe Sellidon says the courts will not gag the church: “We have instructions from God, to go out and tell everybody, they need to know that Jesus saves from any sin.
“The church needs to look past Oscar because the next Pastor is in line to appear here. We need to get support from the churches to support the matter, not the person. He is representing all of us. They won't shut his mouth, if he goes to prison, he will still preach the word of God.”