The department of correctional services on Friday confirmed that Vicki Momberg, who found herself in jail after going on a racial rant, hurling insults at black police officers, has been freed from prison.
“The inmate in question was released from custody today, after having reached her sentence expiry date following the special remission of sentence announced by President (Cyril) Ramaphosa on December 16 2019,” said spokesperson Logan Maistry.
Ramaphosa had announced the decision to remit the sentence expiry dates of specific categories of sentenced offenders, probationers and parolees across all correction facilities in the country. At a media briefing after Ramaphosa’s announcement, justice minister Ronald Lamola explained that about 51,063 criminal offenders out of SA’s total 233,945 offenders would be granted special remission.
The real estate agent became infamous after a viral video in 2016 showed her using the k-word more than 40 times against police officers and 10111 operators trying to assist her after a smash-and-grab incident.
Her defence rested mainly on say that she suffered from “sane automatism”, meaning she had limited capacity for her actions because she was so traumatised by the smash-and-grab.
She became the first South African to receive a jail sentence — an effective two years — for the crime.
Momberg served four months of her sentence in prison before being released on R2‚000 bail in August 2018‚ pending the outcome of her appeal.
When she tried to appeal at the high court in Johannesburg earlier this year — having fired a sixth legal team and been forced to represent herself — her application was dismissed and she was given a few days to file a fresh application with the Supreme Court of Appeal. Alongside this application she was meant to file an application for special leave to extend her bail, but because she failed to do this, she was ordered to hand herself in.
A warrant of arrest was issued on August 1, when she failed to report at the Randburg magistrate’s court after unsuccessfully trying to appeal against her crimen injuria conviction. She was considered “on the run” until handing herself over to police in November.
When the case was heard in the Randburg court, she was ordered back to jail.
Meanwhile, in June 2017, a parallel Equality Court process saw Momberg ordered to pay a R100,000 fine, make a public apology and commit to sensitivity training and community service after she was charged by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and one of the officers she had verbally attacked.
It was not immediately clear whether Momberg had adhered to the order.