Cell phone network Vodacom has distanced itself from Jon Qwelane’s views following complaints that it advertised underneath his recent homophobic column in the Sunday Sun.

An advert promoting the network was placed on the same page as the controversial July 20 article leading to a flood of outraged letters to the company and threats of a boycott from the gay and lesbian community.

Vodacom has started replying to the complaints via e-mail stating that it did not actually place the ad which it says was placed by a company that retails Vodacom products.

In the e-mail, Romeo Kumalo, Vodacom South Africa’s Sales & Marketing Executive Director, says that when advertisements are placed in a publication such as the Sunday Sun the advertiser is usually not aware of what will be published on that page.

Kumalo nevertheless writes: “Vodacom South Africa would like to confirm that it in no way supports, condones or wishes to be associated with the views expressed by the writer of the Sunday Sun column.”

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