Convicted racist Vicky Momberg. File photo: ANA.
JOHANNESBURG - Convicted racist Vicki Momberg on Tuesday terminated the services of her legal representatives after they did not make an application to have the media barred from court.

Judge Thifhelimbilu Mudau said he would not grant a postponement for Momberg to hire another legal team as the matter had already gone on for too long.

Judge Mudau said Momberg could represent herself after the lunch break.

At the beginning of proceedings at the South Gauteng High Court on Tuesday, Momberg had an outburst at her instructing attorney Wesley Rogers after he did not file the application.

Rogers said that incidents that occurred Tuesday morning resulted in the breakdown of the client relationship with Momberg and that he and Advocate Anesh Sukdeo could no longer assist her. Rogers and Sukdeo have been representing Momberg pro bono.

Around five legal teams have previously withdrawn from the case after having disagreements with Momberg.

Judge Mudau told Momberg that there were no merits to barring the media from court as the matter was of public interest.

Earlier, while court was in session, Momberg interrupted proceedings and said she wanted to represent herself because her legal team had not adhered to her instructions to make an application to have the media removed from the court.

Momberg was found guilty of four counts of crimen injuria on November 3 for calling a black police officer the k-word 48 times when he came to her aid following a smash-and-grab incident.

She was sentenced in March 2018 to three years in prison, of which one year was suspended, following her racist tirade in 2016.

Sukdeo told Judge Mudau that Momberg said she was unhappy with the assistance provided by Rogers so they would have to terminate their services.

Sukdeo said he had briefed Momberg on what would happen if their services were terminated and that he could not work with her without Rogers. 

"All the work has been done and as much as we want to assist the court we can not do it without instructions," Sukdeo said. 

Sukdeo told the court that Momberg had told them that legal aid could not assist her because she could not give power of attorney to her bank.

Momberg told Judge Mudau that there had been a fair amount of misrepresentation and that the State had wasted her time and money.

"The paper work is not complete. All these are the abuse I experienced at the Randburg court. The media reports have been one sided and have impacted my livelihood and my family," Momberg said while addressing the court.

Momberg said having the media present had an impact on her credibility and her health.

"The people of South Africa have the right to know and the media has the duty to report the proceedings," the Judge explained to Momberg.

Momberg accused the legal aid system of being inadequate and unhelpful, hence she had sought private counsel despite not having the funds to pay legal fees.

Proceedings will continue on Tuesday afternoon.

African News Agency (ANA)