South Africa is taking an unprecedented step in their handling of racism and their racists. In America, rarely is there punishment associated with racism in America. In fact, it often comes with paid leave and an eventual acquittal.
But for Vicki Momberg, the story was totally different. She was sentenced to three years in prison for using a slur back in February 2016.
On that evening, Momberg was filmed calling Black police officers as they responded to a call of a reported robbery.
In the video, Momberg is talking on the phone about the police officers. During the conversation, she called them “kaffirs” (or the k word). It’s an offensive and derogatory term for Black South Africans used during apartheid. She said, “The k-words here in Joberg are terrible. I’m so sick of it, I really am.”
When the officer approached her, she yelled, “I don’t care. I do not like a single black in Joberg.”
She continued, saying Blacks in Johannesburg are “opinionated, they’re arrogant, and they’re just plain and simply useless.”
She said to the officer, “I am happy for a white person to assist me, or a colored person, or an Indian person. I do not want a black person to assist me.”
It went on for several minutes, with Momberg eventually saying, “If I see a k-word, I will drive him over. I have a gun, I will shoot everybody.”
In recent years, lawmakers have tried to criminalize the word as hate speech. And she was the beneficiary of the new system.
This is not Momberg’s first run in with the law when it comes to racist incidents. In 2006, she was charged with a similar crime, where she also said that would like to be assisted by a White, colored or Indian person. But the case was eventually dismissed.
This time, Momberg’s attorney attempted to argue that her psychological state and having just been robbed influenced her comments.
But the judge presiding over the case believed that Momberg showed no remorse for her actions.
There have been several reactions to the news, take a look at them on the following pages.