My apologies fall on deaf ears – Vicki Momberg

Friend Michael Mokobi also testifies in mitigation of sentence in case against estate agent for use of k-word

'K-word' reminds black people of apartheid, Vicki Momberg court hears

30 November 2017

Johannesburg - Using the k-word against black people is offensive and reminds them of the apartheid era, a witness testified during pre-sentencing proceedings of estate agent Vicki Momberg.

"It will make me feel bitter and angry. It is offensive and it reminds me of the apartheid years we had to go through," Michael Mokobi told the Randburg Magistrate's Court.

Momberg was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 in connection with a racist tirade she had after she became the victim of a smash-and-grab robbery in Northriding, Johannesburg last year.

In a video clip that went viral, Momberg could be heard complaining about the "calibre of blacks" in Johannesburg.

In court on Thursday, the witness said he was shocked when he found out about the incident.

Mokobi, who is a lawyer, has been friends with Momberg for almost 13 years and was called to testify in mitigation of Momberg's sentence.

The court heard that they met in 2004 when Mokobi wanted to buy property from her. 'She was destroyed' "I know her so well that, at times, I could call her a sister. We spoke on the phone like three times a week and we have grown quite close," Mokobi said. 

"I rushed to Vicki at court to console her and to confirm what had transpired."Momberg's advocate, Kevin Lawlor, asked Mokobi what Momberg’s state of mind was and he responded: "The very first time she saw me, we hugged and she cried. Her state of mind, she was destroyed."

Lawlor is Momberg's newly-appointed advocate. During cross-examination prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that Momberg had to be nice to Mokobi for monetary gain.

Baba put it to Mokobi that they had a "sugar daddy" relationship, but the witness denied the claim.

Baba also referred the witness to a crimen injuria case against Momberg from 2005, when she had allegedly used racist slurs against a police officer. She reportedly said to the officer: "I don't want to be helped by a black person. I only want to be helped by a white, Indian or coloured person." According to Baba she had also thrown a tomato at a fellow colleague. She was acquitted of the charges.

But Mokobi said Momberg did not disclose the old case to him.


K-word used 48 times in the past

After Mokobi told the court how he would have felt if the k-word was used against him Baba said: "Ten witnesses came and told the court they feel exactly like you feel when someone uses that word against them. She used the k-word 48 times in the past. "

He asked Mokobi what the appropriate sentence for Momberg was and the witness responded that he thought a suspended sentence was justifiable.

"On that particular day it was not the same Vicki Momberg I had known. I never thought that she could do that. I have seen racists and lived with them. They would never even give a black person a hug. But this is a woman that walked with me and would sometimes give me a hug," he said.

Baba also put it to the witness that there was an incident, involving an Indian man who smashed Momberg’s window and broke her finger at a Mooi River Tollgate Plaza in KwaZulu-Natal.

However, she did not use racial slurs against him. He said Momberg was only racist towards black people.  But the witness said: "There was a time she also called a white person a k-word.”"Oh, she has a tendency of using the k-word?" Baba charged. "No, not necessarily," he said. Momberg was the next witness to take the stand. News24

My apologies fall on deaf ears – Vicki Momberg

Johannesburg – Estate agent Vicki Momberg, who repeatedly wiped away tears during her testimony in the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Thursday, says she has apologised several times for being racist but her apologies have fallen on deaf ears.

Momberg was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 in connection with a racist tirade she went on after she had just been robbed in a smash-and-grab in Northriding, Johannesburg, in 2016. Some of the charges related to her calling a police officer and call centre agent who were trying to assist her k****rs.

In a video clip that went viral, Momberg can be heard complaining about the "calibre of blacks" in Johannesburg.

Before taking the stand during sentencing proceedings on Thursday afternoon, the court adjourned for a few minutes after Momberg broke down in tears.

Her lawyer, Advocate Kevin Lawlor, said Momberg was too emotional to continue.

After the adjournment, Lawlor asked Momberg during mitigation if she was remorseful about the incident.

'Humiliating and embarrassing'

"There are no words to explain how I feel about the situation. I realised that it had affected people and it is not something I want to put myself and anyone else through again," she replied.

Momberg said she was rejected often after apologising repeatedly. According to her, she made six or eight apologies. She has previously made apologies through her legal representative and testified in court that she had apologised to those she had offended.

"It is a humiliating and embarrassing thing that I have done. I tried to apologise and I did not get an apology through to anyone. I don't know how to put it into words."

Momberg claimed she had been attacked and had not received any support from anyone since the incident.

She was on antidepressants and had to take anxiety tablets to "cope".

During cross-examination, state prosecutor Yusuf Baba argued that Momberg was not remorseful.

In response, she said: "I know how it affected my life and those around me. I know how much shame it brought to my family. I know the impact it had."

'I was also a victim that night'

Momberg said that the full video of the incident that took place in February 2016 was not played in court.

"I watched the videos with the transcribes (sic) in my hand and everything that was in favour of the State was in the video. Some of the stuff was totally left out."

Baba then asked if Momberg could recall being charged with crimen injuria for calling a police officer in Durban a "f**en s**t".

"I don't remember that," she said.

Momberg said she did not approve of the k-word.

"I'm sorry to anyone that I have offended. It was not my planned action and I was also a victim that night. If that smash-and-grab incident never happened, I wouldn't have been standing here today (Thursday)."

The matter was postponed to Friday.