South Africa: Megachurch pastor apologises for preaching 'racist' sermon

Megachurch pastor Andre Olivier has apologised for preaching an allegedly racist sermon.Facebook

A South African megachurch pastor has apologised after preaching a sermon that implied white people work harder than black people.

Andre Olivier, pastor of Rivers Church in Johannesburg, has apologised for the hurt and offence caused by his controversial comments during a sermon, claiming he was quoted out of context.

He said during his sermon: "If you are black, God will send you white people. The problem in South Africa, [we say] white people are the problem... no we are not. We have contributed to this nation and we still do."

"And if you want to know why white people have still got money... it's because they work, so don't drive them away."

The controversial leader of the political party Economic Freedom Fighters Julius Malema threatened Olivier, calling him to resign or this coming Sunday's service would be "different".

"Racists must be fought everywhere including those hiding behind the pulpit," said Malema on Twitter.

"Let the church suspend the pastor otherwise the coming Sunday service will be different. #Whitesupremacymustfall".

Olivier apologised for his sermon yesterday on Twitter in a series of posts, which have also been posted on the Rivers Church Facebook page.

"Reflecting on my sermon last weekend, I believe that it is right for me to express my regret for the hurt and offense that was caused by my statements made during my message," he wrote.

"For that I unreservedly apologise. I recognise that my words were poorly chosen, particularly in context of where this country comes from. My comments did not reflect my intention, and I acknowledge the harm that has come as a result.

"I love all South Africans & am committed to build the country to overcome the wrongs of the past. Words cannot express my full remorse. I trust my future actions will support the sincerity of my apology."

Rivers Church describes itself as a "dynamic church that offers both inspirational and practical biblical teaching with motivation for people of all ages, races and walks of life".