A South African safari travel company has apologised for the homophobic e-mails sent by an employee of its Namibian division.

SafariWise Namibia was accused by a British gay newspaper, Pink Paper, of sending it abusive homophobic e-mails after a representative contacted the travel company about advertising in the publication.

Last week, Mambaonline contacted the employee of the Namibian company who denied sending the e-mails and claimed that someone else could have used her account to send the e-mails without her knowledge.

Now, Johan van Tonder, the owner of SafariWise South Africa and the SafariWise brand has admitted that he was shocked to discover that an employee at the Namibia office did indeed send the e-mails, which he said showed “disrespect” and a “lack of humanity”. He described the incident as an “isolated case of homophobia”.

“I wish to express my sincere apology to all individuals and associated groups who were offended by the comments of an employee of the SafariWise Namibia brand-user. The individual is currently under investigation and the necessary disciplinary steps will be instituted,” said van Tonder in a statement sent to Mambaonline and Pink Paper.

He went on to add that, “The views expressed by this individual are not the views of the SafariWise Brand. In fact, we welcome all travellers to South Africa and beyond our borders with no sexual, religious, colour or belief boundaries.

“As a proud citizen of South Africa, a country with one of the most liberal Bill of Human Rights in the world, we acknowledge and respect all races and cultures, especially sexual preferences of individuals.”

Van Tonder said that the readers of both publications were welcome to contact him for any queries on safaris in Southern Africa.

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