Vicki Momberg case: The k-word is used to mentally oppress the human spirit, court hears

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)

The aim of the use of the k-word, which was used to oppress black people in the past, is to mentally oppress the human spirit, the Randburg Magistrate's Court heard on Wednesday.

Magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan told the court that the k-word was one of the most oppressive words used to describe black people.

Rugoonandan made the statement in court shortly after denying former real estate agent Vicki Momberg leave to appeal her conviction of crimen injuria for lashing out at a black police officer who had assisted her after an alleged smash-and-grab incident in Northriding, Johannesburg, in 2016.

READ: Vicki Momberg refused leave to appeal conviction and prison sentence

During her judgment three weeks ago, Rugoonandan sentenced Momberg to three years in prison, with one year suspended, for the crime.

On Wednesday afternoon, Momberg stood calmly in the dock with her hands folded in front of her as Rugoonandan announced her decision.

Behind Momberg, the public gallery was filled with Born Free Alliance members who cheered after the judgment was handed down.

Video's authenticity questioned

Earlier in the day, during closing arguments, her lawyer Kevin Lawlor questioned the authenticity of the video of her racist rant. Lawlor argued that the State had failed to secure the video from tampering.

In the video clip, which went viral, Momberg can be heard complaining about the "calibre of blacks" in Johannesburg. She also uses the k-word 48 times.

The court found her guilty on four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 last year.

The video was captured by a police officer who was also on the scene on the night of the rant.

During her testimony to the court earlier, the officer said she had captured the video on her cellphone, made a copy on a disc and stored it in the evidence room at the Douglasdale police station where she and her colleague were stationed.

She had told the court that it was stored there to prevent it from being tampered with.

'Recording should have been played again'

On Wednesday however, Lawlor argued that no one knew what happened to the video after the officer recorded it on her cellphone and how it ended up on YouTube.

"The State failed to secure the authenticity and security of the recordings. If she had it and YouTube had it, and it went viral, then my point is valid."

He said the video should have been played again in court to the officer, in order for her to prove that she was indeed the creator and author of it.

Based on this, Lawlor submitted that the video recording was inadmissible.

In response, prosecutor Yusuf Baba told the court that the issue around the admissibility of the evidence had already been dealt with during sentencing procedures.

Baba highlighted a 10111 call centre recording where Momberg stated that she hoped to find a minibus full of k*****s and drive into it, killing them all.

Imprisonment a 'just sentence'

The State had objected to Momberg's leave to appeal.

In her judgment, Rugoonandan said the State had argued the issue of the authenticity of the evidence, the recordings in particular, well.

She also found that direct imprisonment was the only and just sentence.

The National Prosecuting Authority's Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane welcomed the ruling.

"We held the view as the State that we have successfully discharged our duties of proving the case on reasonable doubt.

"We have provided the court with satisfactory and conclusive evidence," Mjonondwane said.

She said the court's decision proved that no one was above the law.

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