Johannesburg - Convicted racist Vicki Momberg could sink into deeper trouble as she has until Friday to file answering papers to the contempt charges laid by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).
This relates to the charges the commission laid against Momberg when she stalled from July last year in launching her leave to appeal application, after being found guilty of hate speech by the Equality Court.
Momberg’s lawyer Kingdom Onah is, however, confident of successfully appealing against both the hate speech ruling and the crimen injuria criminal conviction and sentencing.
Momberg was convicted of crimen injuria in November last year and sentenced to an effective two years imprisonment last week for a 2016 racist diatribe she launched at police officers and 10111 operators shortly after being involved in a smash-and-grab incident in Joburg.
The SAHRC took Momberg to the Equality Court, which found her guilty of hate speech and ordered that she pay R100 000 to policeman David Mkhondo, who was one of the officers she called the k-word.
Momberg was also ordered to attend an integrated community service programme and sensitivity training administered by the SAHRC.
On Wednesday, commission spokesperson Gushwell Brooks said the SAHRC had become frustrated at Momberg’s delaying tactics in appealing the hate speech judgment, and sent letters of demand to her in November, to which she didn’t adhere.
“As a result, an application against Ms Momberg for contempt was launched on March 8, 2018.
“Ms Momberg contacted the commission’s attorneys requesting an extension in order to serve her answering papers to the contempt proceedings.
“The extension was granted to April 6, 2018 on the condition that no further indulgences would be given,” Brooks told The Star.
Onah told The Star on Wednesday that they were “pretty confident” of overturning the criminal conviction and the hate speech finding.
“The reason is that we believe that the magistrate erred in her judgment. She did not take all the evidence into totality when she found her (Momberg) guilty on the charge of crimen injuria.
“She sentenced Momberg without considering other forms of punishment, which were recommended by the probation officer report that was read out in court,” Onah said.
“She chose to sentence her direct to imprisonment of two years.
“We feel that the magistrate over-emphasised on the interests of society and neglecting personal circumstances,” Onah added, alluding to Momberg’s robbery before her racist invective.
Meanwhile, Momberg came to the Randburg Magistrate’s Court in Joburg on Wednesday sporting a trendy cornrows hairstyle, which set social media abuzz with talk of who might have seen to her hair in jail.
Momberg, who has been in jail for over a week, was in court for her hearing on leave to appeal against her conviction and sentencing.
The hearing was postponed to next week due to the ill-health of Momberg’s defence advocate, Kevin Lawlor.
The defence also asked for transcripts of the 10111 call Momberg made, which the State’s Yusuf Baba did not contest.