South Africa: State urges jail term for racist Vicki Momberg

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The state has called for nothing less than direct imprisonment‚ without the option of a fine‚ for a woman whose racist tirade was caught on camera two years ago.

Prosecutor Yusuf Baba was presenting closing arguments on sentencing in the case of Vicki Momberg‚ who was found guilty on four counts of crimen injuria last year.

Momberg went on a racist rant shortly after being the victim of a smash-and-grab in Johannesburg. She 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.

Presenting his closing arguments before the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday‚ Baba said Momberg had not shown remorse.

Baba said Momberg was asked during the trial whether she had any regret over what she had done. Her response was that anyone could determine remorse differently.

Baba said a pre-sentence report prepared by a probation officer had found that Momberg had shown more racial bias towards black people.

“The only suitable sentence is direct imprisonment‚ without an option of a fine‚” Baba said.

However‚ Momberg’s lawyer Kevin Lawley said her state of mind during the outburst followed an attempted hijacking and smash-and-grab before police came to her aid. Lawley said the two incidents were compounded by the failure to get assistance.

Momberg had called police after the incidents of attempted car hijacking and the smash-and-grab incident‚ without success.

“She was a victim of crime. She sought help. As she drove down the road‚ she was already showing deep anger which soon turned into rage as she was not getting assistance‚” Lawley said.

He said Momberg entered into a state termed an “emotional storm”. Lawley said the court should consider her psychiatric condition at the time of the incident.

Lawley said the first word Momberg uttered when she reached a shopping centre and met the policemen was “useless” as she felt she was not being assisted.

“The court can discern that‚ despite the accused being accused of a hate crime‚ she was peeved because she was not being assisted.”

Lawley said Momberg needed rehabilitation and treatment for her psychological condition‚ rather than punishment.

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