Marizka Coetzer
Journalist
1 minute read
21 Oct 2021
7:15 am

Rental race row: ‘My boyfriend is coloured, my assistant is black’

Marizka Coetzer

Tyson Properties were left red in the face after a screenshot of a conversation was posted on Twitter, in which a former agent allegedly told a potential tenant the owner was 'race specific'.

Picture for illustration purposes.

An estate agent involved in a “race-specific” rental incident denies claims of racism and apologises for not objecting to the client’s demand not to accept black tenants to rent their property.

Tyson Properties were left red in the face after a screenshot of a conversation in which a former agent allegedly told a potential tenant the owner was “race-specific”, was posted on Twitter.

The agent, Gabriella Johnson, said she was far from racist.

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“My boyfriend is coloured and my assistant is black. Let alone my mates are all [colours],” Johnson said.

She said she resigned from Tyson “to open my own franchise”.

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“I wish to apologise unreservedly for acceding to my client’s demand not to accept black tenants. In hindsight, I should have objected to this request as it goes against my own values, the principles of the company I represent, and our constitution,” she said.

“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,” Johnson said.

Tyson Properties board of directors issued a statement which confirmed Johnson left the agency a week ago and
was not in their employment when the incident happened.

“We are horrified to learn of the actions of an ex-employee,” they said.

Tyson said they were engaging with their legal team to consult about Johnson, who was allegedly in the process of handing over all of her property listings to a new team.