Tensions between Vicki Momberg, convicted in connection with a racist tirade, and her lawyer were high in the Randburg Regional Court when she appeared on Wednesday.
Momberg was in court to provide a report back on her appeal process.
There was much toing and froing between herself and lawyer Kingdom Onah during the course of the morning, with Momberg first saying she no longer wanted him to represent her and then changing her mind, saying he should.
She at one point told Magistrate Pravina Raghoonandan that she would represent herself in the High Court during her appeal hearing next month.
Onah, who has been representing Momberg pro bono, told the court that he had been unable to reach Momberg's new lawyer, advocate Anesh Sukdeo, via email or telephonically, after Momberg said she had found someone else to represent her.
"I am not happy with Onah for many reasons, among them is that he is incompetent," said Momberg.
Dispute over recordings
Raghoonandan was forced to step in and ask Momberg to stop insulting Onah.
"You can't insult him while on the other hand you want his services," said the magistrate.
When asked if she would be available on Friday, Momberg claimed that she had a hearing in Sandton scheduled for Thursday and Friday.
Momberg then demanded that the court provide her with audio and video recordings, so she could hand them over to Sukdeo. She claimed Onah had not given them to her.
Onah responded that he had handed over all recordings.
The magistrate warned her that she would stand down the matter until Momberg brings a letter to ascertain that Sukdeo is her new lawyer.
"I want a letter from your advocate that says he will represent you.
"You do realise that this matter has been set for the high court? Do you realise that time is running out? asked Raghoonandan.
After lunch, Momberg read out a text message from Sukdeo confirming he would represent her provided she has an instructing attorney.
"I am against Onah withdrawing because I don't have an attorney at this moment," she said.
Raghoonandan said the court would not allow Onah to withdraw as Momberg's lawyer.
"You can speak to the registrar or write to the office of the Judge President."
However, Onah said if the court doesn't allow him to withdraw, he would excuse himself.
Momberg, who is out on R2 000 bail, was convicted and sentenced on four counts of crimen injuria in March 2018, after she called a black police officer the K-word 48 times following a smash and grab incident in February 2016.
She was sentenced to an effective two years in jail.
Momberg is appealing both her conviction and sentence.
The matter was postponed in the Randburg Regional Court on March 19 for a provisional date.