Watch your tongue‚ says prosecutor in Vicki Momberg case
This is the stern warning from prosecutor Yusuf Baba‚ the man who represented the state in the case against convicted racist estate agent Vicki Momberg.
On Wednesday‚ the Randburg Magistrate’s Court sentenced Momberg to an effective two years’ imprisonment for a series of racial slurs.
“People need to watch their tongues before they talk. There are consequences for your actions‚” said Baba following the sentencing.
He said while media reported on racial-related incidents‚ prosecutors saw many more cases than those that made the headlines.
“Harsher sentences must be meted out because of the abuse that takes place on a daily basis. We are experiencing this on a daily basis and as such a strong message has to be sent out.”
Baba said Momberg deserved a direct imprisonment sentence as she had hurled racial slurs more than once.
“This case is not only restricted to the video footage; the recordings that were played in court were much harsher than the video footage itself.
“You take all these [race-related] cases‚ the utterances were made once‚ but not in this case. To ask for direct imprisonment takes a lot from any person and this case warranted direct imprisonment.”
He said it was time for the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill to be passed into law.
“It is time that the hate crimes bill be enforced because‚ looking at our courts and the number of increases in respect of these offences‚ it is time a loud message is sent to every race‚ every person in the country. This cannot go on anymore.”
He described Momberg’s case as the “worst” he has come across in a South African court.
“This is the first time in the history of our courts that the person seeking assistance‚ instead of seeking assistance‚ becomes abusive to everybody.”
Momberg went on a racist rant shortly after being a victim of a smash-and-grab in Johannesburg in 2016. She loosely hurled the k-word 48 times at police officers and 10111 operators who had tried to assist following her ordeal. Her tirade was caught on camera and the video soon went viral.
As Magistrate Pravina Raghoonandan finished delivering her sentence‚ Momberg was escorted to the holding cells.
She could be seen wiping tears from her eyes while the sentence was being handed down.
Dressed in black pants and a pink and white scarf‚ looked down as cameras flashed before her eyes.
Momberg has previously objected to her photographs being taken‚ but she could not avoid the spot light on Wednesday as the court sent her to jail.
#VickiMomberg was trending all day on Wednesday after the estate agent was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, one year of which was suspended by the Randburg Magistrate’s court.