Should unrepentant racism end in jail time?

09 April 2018 - 06:59 By Karyn Maughan
Convicted racist Vicki Momberg at her sentencing at the Randburg Magistrate court. File photo.
Convicted racist Vicki Momberg at her sentencing at the Randburg Magistrate court. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali/ Sunday Times

Twenty-four years into democracy‚ racism seems to be a well-entrenched and polarising part of life in South Africa – and both the state and ordinary citizens are turning to the courts in a bid to eradicate it.

The Randburg Magistrate’s Court‚ which recently sentenced convicted racist Vicki Momberg to an effective two years in jail‚ is dealing with at least five racism cases a month – and that number is growing.

Investec CEO Fani Titi will get into the witness box in that same court later this month to pursue his crimen injuria case against his former friend and business associate Peter-Paul Ngwenya. Ngwenya is accused of sending a text message in which he referred to Titi as a “QwaQwa k*****r”.

The case is important because it will examine just how important identity is when determining whether someone’s dignity has been injured by an allegedly racist comment.

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