The 'k-word' reminds black people of apartheid, Vicki Momberg court hears

2017-11-30 14:43
Estate agent Vicki Momberg (Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24)

Estate agent Vicki Momberg (Felix Dlangamandla/Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - Using the k-word against black people is offensive and reminds them of the apartheid era, a witness testified during pre-sentencing proceedings of estate agent Vicki Momberg.

"It will make me feel bitter and angry. It is offensive and it reminds me of the apartheid years we had to go through," Michael Mokobi told the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

Momberg was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 in connection with a racist tirade she had after she became the victim of a smash-and-grab robbery in Northriding, Johannesburg last year.

In a video clip that went viral, Momberg could be heard complaining about the "calibre of blacks" in Johannesburg.

In court on Thursday, the witness said he was shocked when he found out about the incident.

Mokobi, who is a lawyer, has been friends with Momberg for almost 13 years and was called to testify in mitigation of Momberg's sentence.

The court heard that they met in 2004 when Mokobi wanted to buy property from her.

'She was destroyed'

"I know her so well that, at times, I could call her a sister. We spoke on the phone like three times a week and we have grown quite close," Mokobi said. 

"I rushed to Vicki at court to console her and to confirm what had transpired."

Momberg's advocate, Kevin Lawlor, asked Mokobi what Momberg’s state of mind was and he responded: "The very first time she saw me, we hugged and she cried. Her state of mind, she was destroyed."

Lawlor is Momberg's newly-appointed advocate.

During cross-examination prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that Momberg had to be nice to Mokobi for monetary gain.

Baba put it to Mokobi that they had a "sugar daddy" relationship, but the witness denied the claim.

Baba also referred the witness to a crimen injuria case against Momberg from 2005, when she had allegedly used racist slurs against a police officer. 

She reportedly said to the officer: "I don't want to be helped by a black person. I only want to be helped by a white, Indian or coloured person." According to Baba she had also thrown a tomato at a fellow colleague. She was acquitted of the charges.

But Mokobi said Momberg did not disclose the old case to him.

K-word used 48 times in the past

After Mokobi told the court how he would have felt if the k-word was used against him Baba said: "Ten witnesses came and told the court they feel exactly like you feel when someone uses that word against them. She used the k-word 48 times in the past. "

He asked Mokobi what the appropriate sentence for Momberg was and the witness responded that he thought a suspended sentence was justifiable.

"On that particular day it was not the same Vicki Momberg I had known. I never thought that she could do that. I have seen racists and lived with them. They would never even give a black person a hug. But this is a woman that walked with me and would sometimes give me a hug," he said. 

Baba also put it to the witness that there was an incident, involving an Indian man who smashed Momberg’s window and broke her finger at a Mooi River Tollgate Plaza in KwaZulu-Natal.

However, she did not use racial slurs against him. He said Momberg was only racist towards black people.  

But the witness said: "There was a time she also called a white person a k-word.”

"Oh, she has a tendency of using the k-word?" Baba charged. 

"No, not necessarily," he said. 

Momberg was the next witness to take the stand.

Read more on:    vicki momberg  |  racism

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