By Kaya 959 Reporter
A real estate agent has been suspended after refusing to show a man a home because he was black.
Gabriella Johnson had joined Live Real Estate in Cape Town just 48 hours before she was slapped with a notice of disciplinary action.
Pol Osei took to social media to share a conversation between him and Johnson in which the agent said her client was “race-specific”.
In the messages, Osei asks Gabriella Johnson questions about an apartment that she had listed.
He asks her if it is still available. When he asks for a viewing, Johnson tells him the client is race-specific.
“I would love for you to rent it but she’s very tricky,” Johnson says.
Osei asks what she means. He goes on to tell her that it (being race-specific) is illegal.
Johnson tells him it is not the agency’s fault.
— Pol Osei (@pol_osei) October 19, 2021
Complaint filed against estate agent
Osei has since lodged a complaint with the Estate Agency Affairs Board.
Live Estate CEO Brendan Miller has meanwhile apologised to Osei and is helping him find a new home.
Miller says they were “shocked and beyond disgusted” about Johnson’s comments.
Johnson has since been suspended and the company has taken disciplinary action.
“She will most likely be dismissed at the earliest opportunity, pending her internal hearing,” he says.
Live Real Estate has contacted Osei and is helping him find a new home.
“With regards to the landlord, we did not have a contract as the property was not listed with Live Real Estate. We have reached out to Gabriella’s previous agency and we are working on expanding guidelines for other estate agents to also implement in order to prevent anything like this from happening ever again,” Miller says.
The agency has also apologised to Osei.
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Estate agent apologises
Johnson has also issued an apology on social media.
“I wish to apologise unreservedly for acceding to my client’s demand not to accept black tenants to rent their property,” she says.
She adds that she “should have objected” to the client’s request as it goes against her own values.
“It was my duty to call it out which I neglected to do. It was my oversight for which I take full responsibility and accountability. I trust that you will accept my sincere apology. “
Johnson has pledged to do better.