Estate agent Vicki Momberg's racism case postponed

2018-03-09 19:32
Vicki Momberg appears in the the Randburg Magistrate Court. (Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld, Gallo Images, file)

Vicki Momberg appears in the the Randburg Magistrate Court. (Felix Dlangamandla, Beeld, Gallo Images, file)

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Johannesburg – The case against Vicki Momberg, a former real estate agent whose racist rant towards a black police officer was caught on camera, was on Friday postponed to March 16.

Prosecutor Yusuf Baba told Magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan that initially both parties had agreed to hand in their heads of argument by next Wednesday so that Momberg could be sentenced on March 16.

Prior to the lunch adjournment probation officer Daphne Naidoo read out a pre-sentencing report in order to assist the court to determine the most appropriate sentence for Momberg.

Momberg, during interviews with Naidoo, she said she thought that the "k-word" was merely a swear word, Naidoo said.

READ: Vicki Momberg thinks k-word not offensive, 'it's just a swear word' - court hears

"They should not take it personally, unless they feel or believe they are what they are being called," said Momberg to Naidoo.

The court heard that Momberg had allegedly insulted or degraded a black probation officer during one interview to the extent that the officer had to recuse herself from the case.

Long-term imprisonment 'not suitable'

"The accused does not have recollection where she insulted or degraded someone... As much as she claims that she is not a racist, her underlying statements prove contrary."

Naidoo said Momberg also said: "Being an estate agent she noticed that white people when they do not have maids, their houses are much dirtier unlike black people."

In her recommendation, Naidoo said long-term imprisonment would not be suitable because it would not address the underlying issue.

She suggested that periodical imprisonment of no less than 100 hours and not more than 2 000 hours among other recommendations.  

During cross-examination, Naidoo revealed that her colleague, a Ms Makoba, was so traumatised by Momberg's behaviour she had to be debriefed and get counselling.

"On the day of the second interview I had to do a debrief with her, I spoke with a supervisor to tell her that she should be taken to counselling and an employment assistance programme was recommended."

Another witness

Naidoo was asked if Makoba was still in contact with Momberg and her lawyer, Advocate Kevin Lawlor, said Momberg had been in contact with Makoba. Naidoo disputed this.

To this, Baba then requested that Makoba be brought in to tell the court her version of events and if Momberg had been in contact with Makoba.

The court granted the request and Lawlor said it was unfair to call yet another witness in the matter.

He also said that Momberg had apologised for her behaviour but Baba said it was to one victim through letters to her lawyer.

Baba also said the apology was not made public in the form of being circulated on Facebook, Twitter and on the South African Human Rights Commission's website.

"There is no apology that is suitable enough," said Baba.

'They're opinionated, they're arrogant'

"It may not be enough but it may be a deterrent to other people thinking of doing the same thing," said Naidoo.

Momberg was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 following her rant aimed at Constable David Mkhondo, who was trying to help her after an alleged smash-and-grab incident. The outburst was filmed and shared online and aired on TV news.

In the video clip, Momberg can be heard complaining about the "calibre of blacks" in Johannesburg.

"The calibre of blacks in this town [varies] from the calibre of blacks in Durban. They're opinionated, they're arrogant, and they're just plain and simple useless. I am happy for a white person to assist me, or a coloured person, or an Indian person. I do not want a black person to assist me," she shouted.

"Let me tell you something. This is the type of police force we have got. We've got a low calibre of people working. If I see a black person, I will drive them over. If I have a gun, I will shoot everyone," she tells the officer before driving off.

Momberg claimed she "acted illogically" after the alleged smash-and-grab incident.

She said during sentencing proceedings that she had apologised several times for being racist, but her apologies had fallen on deaf ears.

Read more on:    vicki momberg  |  johannesburg  |  racism

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