Convicted racist Vicki Momberg was back in Randburg Magistrate’s Court today to apply for leave to appeal her conviction of crimen injuria and her two year jail sentence.

Her lawyers argued that her sentence was too harsh and punitive, because she was in an emotional state at the time of her racist tirade and did not have criminal intent.

Former estate agent Momberg was convicted of four counts of crimen injuria and sentenced to an effective two years behind bars in a landmark ruling earlier this year. Crimen injuria is defined as “unlawfully and intentionally impairing the dignity or privacy of another.”

In 2016, she racially abused two 10111 call centre agents as well as police constable David Mkhondo, all of whom were trying to assist her after a smash and grab in North Riding, Johannesburg. Her racist tirade, which included more than 43 utterances of the k-word, was caught on camera and served as evidence against her in court.

Momberg’s lawyers are applying for leave to appeal the conviction and sentence, saying that the punishment did not fit the crime. But the state prosecutor said their argument and documents were incomplete and flawed. The hearing has been postponed until Wednesday, April 18 to give the defence time to submit more documents.

Momberg’s prison sentence was a first for South Africa. Other cases where the accused pleaded guilty to crimen injuria after racist utterances (such as Penny Sparrow) have resulted in conviction, but much milder sentences, involving community service, monetary fines and suspended prison sentences which they will likely not serve unless they reoffend.

Magistrate Pravina Raghoonandan said that the repeated nature of Momberg’s offense, plus her lack of remorse, contributed towards her harsh sentence.

“The crime of crimen injuria is generally not considered a serious offence,” the magistrate said; but “it depends how a particular person’s dignity has been impaired.”

Picture: Twitter @DestinyConnect

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