A former real estate agent was viciously robbed during a nasty smash-and-grab incident. She was all alone when a horrible person took advantage of her inability to defend herself and the robber took her for granted as they stole items. The vulnerable woman was then helped by a police officer. In her extremely shaken up moment of frailty, she went on what turned out to be a slightly racist tirade about the person who robbed her. She was overheard saying something racist and she ended up being sent to court for what she said.
The pending outcome of her court case shows the horrible inability of a court system to throw someone in prison for things they said, rather than punishing someone who robbed another human being. The magistrate who saw her case stated that the police officers who were black were stripped of their dignity for what the woman said. She now faces two years in prison and a third year could be applied if she says anything racist again.
It’s inappropriate to say things that are racist, but many wonder if sending someone to jail for saying something “mean” is an appropriate sentence. It’s also reported that the person who robbed her may not be serving any prison time for his smash-and-grab crime that could have ended up in a woman being murdered if the crime went further wrong.
News 24 reported more on the woman who’s going to jail for saying mean things: “Former real estate agent Vicki Momberg was sentenced to an effective two years in prison by the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday for her racist tirade in 2016.
As the sentence was handed down, Momberg wiped away her tears.
She was found guilty on four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 in connection with her rant, which started when she lashed out at a black police officer who had helped her after an alleged smash-and-grab incident in Northriding, Johannesburg.
In a video clip that went viral, Momberg could be heard complaining about the “caliber of blacks” in Johannesburg.
On Wednesday magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan said that everyone had a right to dignity that needed to be respected and protected.
Rugoonandan said the police officers that assisted Momberg were in their uniform ready to serve, and Momberg’s slurs stripped the officers of their dignity.
At a previous sitting, prosecutor Yusuf Baba told the court that Momberg’s was the worst crimen injuria case the courts had dealt with.
Baba quoted from a 2014 case, Prinsloo v State, in which the Supreme Court of Appeal stated that the word k****rs was racially abusive and was used in its injurious sense.
“It is my submission that a suitable sentence is direct imprisonment without the option of a fine,” Baba said at the time.
However, the defence’s Kevin Lawlor countered that sentencing must be fair and balanced.
Lawlor asked for Momberg to be sent for rehabilitation instead of direct imprisonment.
Lawlor said after falling victim to a smash-and-grab incident Momberg was not in a normal state of mind and was caught in an “emotional storm.”
What she said was horribly inappropriate but people are unable to justify sending someone to prison for two years just for saying something that was not very nice. Comedians say mean things all the time and they’re not in prison, yet.
Her defense protected her the best they could, but the magistrate wouldn’t allow the woman to walk free with a non-imprisonment sentencing. Meanwhile, the robber runs free to steal again and potentially harm people who they come across.
Is this the proper punishment for someone who said something in poor taste?
Should the magistrate have paid more attention to the bigger problem in which people were in harm’s way and items were being stolen? Or should the magistrate have worried about the “words” that were said? Words, as kids are taught, do not hurt. However, scaring someone and robbing them leaves a lasting impression that might terrorize people on a personal level and leave them in a state of distress and flaring emotions in which they might rant and say things that are horrible.
The woman faces a third year in prison unless she’s on good behavior and no longer says anything racist. If she commits another act of saying “mean things” then she’ll have a third year added to her term. The third year is on delay and it appears as though she can avoid it. Hopefully, she watches what she says and doesn’t get caught utilizing her freedom of speech in a way that gets her caught in a consequence as harsh as this.
But the problem that truly remains to be solved is wondering if jail an appropriate punishment for people who say mean things?