Momberg appeared on Thursday in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court, where it was revealed her lawyer, Kevin Lawlor, was admitted to hospital and could not appear to conduct the application. Momberg was sentenced last week to an effective two years in prison for using the K-word 48 times against the officers and 10111 operators trying to assist her after a smash-and-grab incident.
However, she has made it clear that she would appeal both the four convictions on crimen injuria and the sentencing.
During the brief proceedings on Thursday, Momberg’s attorney, Kingdom Onah, said that while he awaited his colleague’s recovery he also needed a transcript of the 10111 recordings used against his client during the criminal trial.
Momberg also became a subject of ridicule on social media after she arrived at the court sporting cornrows, with many asking which fellow inmate had assisted her in getting her new style.
Just after Momberg’s case was postponed, three other suspected racists appeared in the same courtroom. The two men and a woman had allegedly been involved in a bar fight at Murphy's Law Bar & Grill in Northriding in June 2016.
The trio had apparently attacked a group of black people after a verbal argument escalated, and had allegedly used the K-word during the assault. According to the charge sheet, one of the men used a wheel spanner to beat one of the women.
However, because none of the complainants arrived at the court, the charges against the trio were provisionally withdrawn.
It’s understood the investigating officer would be asked to ensure that the complainants returned to the court so the charges could be reinstated.
The same magistrate (Pravina Rugoonandan) that conducted Momberg’s matter was also currently dealing with the case of Investec chief executive Fani Titi, who has charged a business partner, Peter-Paul Ngwenya, of crimen injuria.
The pair have been involved in a financial dispute for years, and Ngwenya allegedly sent out a group text message calling Titi a “QwaQwa k*****”.
The case has raised questions over whether Ngwenya can also be found to be racist for the use of the word.
State prosecutor Yusuf Baba has pursued a conviction by arguing during the ongoing trial that any use of the K-word, regardless of the user’s colour, was racist.
The trial continues later this month. The Saturday Star understands that the Randburg Magistrate’s Court is dealing with dozens of similar cases, with as many as five incidents of crimen injuria opened each month over the past year.
This week, the SA Human Rights Commission revealed that it had received 486 racism complaints in the 2016/17 period alone, with most centring around the use of the K-word and other hate speech.