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Judge sends convicted racist Vicki Momberg back to jail

06 November 2019 - 17:01 By Iavan Pijoos
Vicki Momberg is back behind bars after handing herself over to police. File photo.
Vicki Momberg is back behind bars after handing herself over to police. File photo.
Image: Simphiwe Nkwali/ Sunday Times

Convicted racist and former real estate agent Vicki Momberg will spend the night behind bars.

Momberg appeared in the Randburg magistrate's court on Wednesday. She appeared calm, wearing a black blazer and with her hair tied in a bun. 

Her legal representative, advocate Anesh Sukdeo, told the court he was concerned that his client had been brought to court on a warrant of arrest but he had been asking for a copy of the warrant from the investigation officer since Wednesday morning.

"We are standing before court without ammunition. The accused's rights have been violated. When the accused demands a copy [of the warrant], you need to give the accused a copy," said Sukdeo.

"The media has also tarnished her reputation," he added.

Sukdeo brought an application on Wednesday for Momberg to be released from custody.

When Momberg tried to appeal her conviction at the high court in Johannesburg earlier this year — having fired a sixth legal team and been forced to represent herself — her application was dismissed and she was given a few days to file a fresh application with the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Alongside this application, she was meant to file an application for special leave to extend her bail.

However, because she failed to do this, she was ordered to hand herself in.

A warrant of arrest was issued on August 1, when she failed to report at the Randburg magistrate’s court after unsuccessfully trying to appeal her crimen injuria conviction. She was considered "on the run" until handing herself over to police on Wednesday.

Sukdeo argued that the court said she had 30 days to file the application but did not mention that this excluded public holidays and weekends. He also argued that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had no right to obtain the warrant of arrest and that this infringed on her dignity, adding that dignity and the right to life go hand in hand.

"I ask that the court should consider the accused’s violation of her rights," he said.

Magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan said she could not set aside her order. "I cannot set aside my own order. This is my signature on the order," she said.

Rugoonandan denied the application and ordered that Momberg remains in custody.

In June 2017, after she was charged by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and one of the officers she verbally attacked, a parallel Equality Court process saw Momberg ordered to pay a R100,000 fine, make a public apology and commit to sensitivity training and community service. She has yet to do any of these.

- Additional reporting by Shain Germaner