We won’t rent to blacks — landlady

2010-10-01 00:00

A SHELLY Beach-based woman was left rejected and disheartened yesterday after she was denied the opportunity to rent a cottage because she is black.

Zanele Mzolo had responded to an advertisement placed in a local publication to acquire more information about the prospect of renting a single bedroom property available in St. Michaels-On-Sea. Mzolo asked a work colleague of hers, Mirelle Archibald, to call on her behalf and inquire about the property.

Archibald was told by the property’s landlord and owner, a white woman, that she would need to speak with the person looking to rent the cottage in order to give directions to view the property at 2 pm.

Mzolo returned the phone call in the hopes of confirming the appointment and was shocked by what she was told.

“After hearing my voice she asked me if the person looking for accommodation was black,” explained Mzolo.

“I was a bit shocked at first and I didn’t know what to say, so just I just said ‘yes’.”

Mzolo claims that the woman on the phone then apologised, saying that she doesn’t rent her place out to black people because the white tenants who live on the same property wouldn’t get on with black people.

The property owner, Jenny, did not want to reveal her surname when she spoke to The Witness. “If it were up to me, I would not have a problem with it,” she said.

“We have had black people staying here before and it just doesn’t work out with the people in the cottages living right on top of each other; it causes fights.”

Jenny rents out three cottages on her property, where she lives in a house with her husband.

One of the three cottages is currently occupied by white tenants, while the other two are vacant.

“I am really not a racist, I just have to be so careful who I let in here,” said Jenny.

“I apologise if what I said was taken the wrong way.”

For Mzolo, though, an apology is small consolation for what she had to endure yesterday.

“To them, the colour of your skin still matters but not the type of person you are.

“The rejection was so hard to take; I wouldn’t wish what I felt upon any­body,”

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