Race row realtor has shattered her reputation - expert

2016-01-04 10:56
(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

(Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Durban - KwaZulu-Natal realtor Penny Sparrow, who called black beachgoers “monkeys” on Facebook, has done irreparable damage to her reputation, says a social media lawyer.

Emma Sadleir said Sparrow had destroyed her reputation, and severely damaged that of her former employer, Jawitz Properties.

The company said earlier it was exploring what action to take against Sparrow.

“People have started to work out that there can be huge employment consequences for people who get it wrong on social media,” Sadleir said.

“When the relationship is over it changes things and companies really need to start waking up to potential for harm from ex-employees. We have gotten to the stage that when someone leaves employment, you need to get them to sign a document that says they have cleared all associations with the company on social media.”


Sadleir said while there had been calls to criminalise defamation on social media, no legislation of the sort existed as yet.

If the comments were aimed at one person they could go to the police and register a case of crimen injuria. It was more problematic when the comments were general. 

“Good luck to her getting a job anywhere because she has destroyed her reputation,” she said.

Sadleir added those who endorsed Sparrow's view could also face fallout.

"If you share or retweet without disassociating yourself then you run the risk of being held responsible ala Dianne Kohler Barnard," she said.

Read more on:    durban  |  racism  |  social media

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