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Momberg sentencing ‘will act as a deterrent to other racists’: Kathrada foundation

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The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation said in a statement on Thursday that the sentencing of former estate agent Vicki Momberg sent a clear signal against overt racism.

Momberg was sentenced in the Randburg Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday to three years imprisonment, with one year suspended, for her racist rant at a police constable, David Mkhondo.

It is the first time in South Africa that someone has been sentenced to direct jail time for crimen injuria.

“This sets a precedent that overt racism cannot just be penalised through the paying of fines and community service, but that it can result in jail time,” the foundation’s executive director Neeshan Balton said.

“This case will act as a deterrent to other racists in future, who will now be far more careful about the public expression of racist views.”

The Equality Court initially ordered Momberg to pay Constable Mkhondo R100 000 in damages and to undergo community service and sensitivity training, which she then appealed.

It was heard during the trial that Momberg believes the k-word was simply a swear word.

“It is clear that Momberg is unapologetic and unwilling to change her racist views. In light of this, jail time may well be the only punitive action that can ensure that she learns just how unacceptable racism is,” Balton said.

Balton added that, while criminalising overt racism will act as a deterrent, it is not the only means to address the problem.

“Anti-racism and diversity training, education, and awareness are essential on an ongoing basis at a very grassroots level to change racist mentality that remains embedded in our society post-1994,” he said.

[Source: News24]
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