Cape Town – Facebook followers of former South African sprinter Geraldine Pillay-Viret were outraged after she was the apparent victim of racial profiling.
Pillay-Viret took to social media, sharing how disheartened she was when she was unable to view a house to rent in Kempton Park, Gauteng, because of the colour of her skin.
“So, hubby and I wanted to view a house in Kempton Park today when we were told that only applications from white people will be considered,” she posted on Saturday.
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“This made me sick. It’s 2017 and we still dealing with this type of BS #ThingsThatNeedToStayTheHellIn2017 #WhatNonSenseIsThis.”
Annelie Hanekom from Rowcor Properties, the estate agent managing the listing, said it was the owner who declined the viewing.
“This is a unit that’s on the property of the owners and she said that she only wants white people. We said that Indian people are better than white people, but the owner said she only wants white people.
“It’s either you accept the conditions stipulated or they won’t allow you to rent on the unit. When there is one or two houses on the property, then the owners get the say. It’s not in line with our policy but we must do what the owners want.”
Pillay-Viret said that she felt sick to her stomach of the experience.
“We had been chatting over WhatsApp and then she came back after a while, and waiting to confirm the time but then she came back saying that they only accept viewings from white people.
“I was so shocked, and it’s all based on the colour of your skin. I didn’t think it was something still happening in South Africa,” Pillay-Viret added.
“I had to read the message over and over to understand what I’m reading, and then I decided that I wouldn’t focus on that.
“After I got that message I was sick to my stomach, for someone to have that mindset, because it is really, really frustrating, and we would like think that people would look past the colour of your skin.
“It is very sad that the agent accepted that mandate.”
Hanekom stated that she felt sorry for the couple.
“We don’t condone it and Rowcor Property doesn’t condone it. We can turn it down, but I have five other couples interested and it would be shooting myself in the foot if I turned it down.”