Johannesburg - A gruelling two-day cross-examination of real estate agent Vicky Momberg has revealed she still can’t believe her own behaviour.
She has also spent hours claiming she has been a victim of the criminal justice system's failings, that a judge and magistrate have worked against her, that the prosecution has victimised her and that her own legal team failed her in her time of need.
Momberg became infamous last year when video footage and audio recordings of her using the k-word 48 times went viral.
The victim of a smash and grab on February 3, 2016, Momberg lashed out at the police officers who were trying to help her after the incident.
The Randburg Magistrate’s court found her guilty of four counts of crimen injuria for calling the four officers “k******”, “useless” and “bitch”, and her sentencing proceedings have continued for the past two days.
But throughout her cross-examination at the hands of prosecutor Yusuf Baba, Momberg spent the majority of the time refusing to admit she had even used the k-word, only acknowledging her slurs after she was confronted with a transcript of the case against her at the Equality Court where she said she had possibly used it between one and four times.
During the Equality Court proceedings, Momberg had conceded through her lawyers she had used hate speech, that she was willing to take sensitivity training and community service. The court ultimately asked her to also pay a R100 000 fine. However, in Friday’s criminal proceedings, Momberg was adamant the Equality Court judge had “unintentionally” been wrong in convicting her.
She claimed her lawyer, Joe Davidowitz had made the above concessions without her permission, and that she was currently appealing the court’s decision.
She was also quick to label the officer who had taken her to the Equality Court, Constable Clement David Mkhondo, as simply seeking money and admitted to telling the officer following those proceedings that he “would never see a cent”.
Momberg’s level of remorse became a focal point throughout Baba’s questioning, with the real estate agent mostly refusing to acknowledge her use of the k-word and saying she was “unable to put into words” an apology to her victims.
Momberg told the court she had tried between six and eight times - possibly more - to apologise verbally and in written form to the officers and the public at large for her conduct.
Also read: Racist Vicki’s tirade goes on
However, about her apologies, she said they had mostly been unaccepted, and on the stand would only apologise for “the people at the scene who may have been hurt” by her racist tirade. She said she no longer knew what words could remedy the damage she had done.
She also said the incident was still “unbelievable” and that she still believed the video footage of her utterances had been tampered with.
Throughout her criminal trial, Momberg has insisted she had no intent to cause anyone harm, that she was in a state of “sane automatism”, meaning she had no idea of the nature of her actions. On the stand on Friday, Momberg reiterated her slurs were said out of fear and anxiety following her attack, not out of hate.
On Thursday, Momberg had summoned a family friend who she later said was just a colleague - Michael Mokobi, to testify on her character and tell the court he did not believe she was racist. However, Baba put it to Momberg that the only reason she had treated Mokobi well was because she was set to earn a commission on the property she had been trying to sell him.
On Friday, she lashed out at Baba during the cross-examination, saying his assertion that she had only been kind to Mokobi for monetary gain was deeply offensive. “I find it very intimidating it’s not fair to attack me. It’s more offensive no one has stopped this,” she said, seemingly implying that her new lawyer, Kevin Lawlor, nor magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan had failed to intervene.
She then said Baba had victimised her throughout proceedings, and the magistrate had also been against her in the trial.
Baba, however, shot back that Momberg had, in front of colleagues, threatened to lay complaints against him with authorities - seemingly in a bid to remove him from the case. Momberg’s anger was not just directed at her legal team, the prosecution and presiding magistrate, as outside of proceedings, she also lashed out at a reporter in the court gallery. The court granted permission for reporters to photograph Momberg outside of proceedings, and when a Netwerk24 reporter took an image, Momberg confronted her. Putting her face directly next to the journalist’s, she shouted: “I’ve had enough now. You have no respect!” She then left the courtroom. The real estate agent has confronted reporters on numerous occasions throughout the proceedings.
The sentencing arguments will continue on December 7.