She Spewed Racist Remarks at Cops. Now She's Going to Jail

Vicky Momberg is South Africa's first person sentenced to up to 3 years of prison time for racism
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2018 2:17 PM CDT

Vicky Momberg didn't just say the slur one time to black police officers. She said it nearly 50 times, and that rant has now earned her a three-year prison sentence, with one year suspended. The BBC calls the South African ruling a "landmark" one, as it's the first time there a white person has been sentenced to prison for racism. Her conviction and sentencing arose out of an incident that happened in Johannesburg in February 2016, when Momberg made an emergency call to say she'd been robbed. When black cops showed up to help her, she didn't like that, and hurled the word "kaffir"—an offensive word often used to describe blacks during the era of apartheid—at them a total of 48 times in what the BBC deems a "rage-filled, vitriolic assault." Someone caught her diatribe on tape, and it soon went viral.

"I do not want a black person to assist me," she can be heard saying in the video (edited version here), per BuzzFeed, before threatening to run the cops over and shoot "everybody." Momberg was convicted in November of crimen injuria, the use of racial or other emotionally damaging insults that "unlawfully, intentionally, and seriously [impair] the dignity of another." Momberg's lawyers argued she'd gone through an "emotional storm" after being robbed, per the BBC, and that she should be sent to rehab, not a jail cell. Many online celebrated Momberg's sentence, though some agreed she needs help. One commenter on Twitter called her a "hateful racist" but noted that "paying damages to the cop she insulted & community service in a black community" would have served as a more "restorative justice" than prison time. Momberg's attorney says she'll appeal the conviction and sentence. (Read more South Africa stories.)

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