Even though Vicki Momberg screamed the k-word at him over and over, Constable David Mkhondo is not revelling in her sentence. Picture: Nhlanhla Phillips/African News
Johannesburg - Even though Vicki Momberg screamed the k-word at him over and over, Constable David Mkhondo has nothing against the racist estate agent.

Mkhondo wants to make that clear; nor is he revelling in the fact she is the first South African to be sent to prison for crimen injuria.

He is, however, concerned by Momberg’s lack of remorse.

“She didn’t learn anything from this case. I’m worried that she could re-offend,” he says.

Mkhondo attended much of the proceedings at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court since she was found guilty on four counts of crimen injuria last year.

He is one of four police officers targeted in Momberg’s racial outburst while trying to help her after a smash-and-grab incident in 2016.

On Wednesday, he saw magistrate Pravina Rughoo- nandan sentence Momberg to two years in prison. After the proceedings, he felt overwhelmed, he says.

“Justice was served. I was happy to see that. The (prosecution) did such a good job. The prosecutor (Yusuf Baba) never took his eye off of the case, and I thank him for that,” says Mkhondo.

However, even as Momberg spends her first Easter weekend in prison, pending her leave to appeal application against the sentencing and conviction next week, he is unsure about her prospects for success in overturning Rughoonandan’s damning ruling.

If she does, Mkhondo says, “she’ll think she’s above the law. It will send a terrible message to others (who would commit such crimes)”.

He tells how, for more than two years, Momberg’s words undermined his self-confidence. With the help of his wife, colleagues and friends, he has rebuilt himself. The ruling was the final step, making him feel more secure.

Momberg’s sentencing proceedings captured South Africa’s attention this week. “Ms Momberg, it does not give me pleasure to impose this sentence. It’s a sad day for me,” said Rughoonandan, who earlier explained the previous non-custodial sentences against those who had been convicted of crimen injuria had not been an effective deterrent against would-be racists and bigots.

“This habit and culture must change; innocent black people were violated.”

The magistrate pointed out how the officers, in full uniform and performing their duties, had been stripped of their dignity and self-worth by the use of the k-word against them.

Soon after Momberg was led to the cells to spend her first night in prison, Baba and National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane welcomed the sentence.

Mjonondwane explained that while others convicted of crimen injuria had been sent to prison, these sentences had always been combined with other charges, such as assault.

Baba hoped this ruling would be a warning to people of all races using racial slurs.

“People need to watch their tongues and realise there are consequences to their actions Every race must take note of this judgment.”

Saturday Star