The IRR’s Michael Morris says that Vicki Momberg jail sentence will send a signal that it is unacceptable to perpetrate racism against others.
Momberg was sentenced on Wednesday, 28 March 2018 at the Randburg’s Magistrate’s Court to three years in prison; with one year suspended. She was found guilty of four counts crimen injuria in November 2017.
In a video captured in 2016, Momberg is seen shouting at a black police officer. This was after the police officer tried to help her recover after she was allegedly involved in a smash-and-grab incident in Northriding, Johannesburg.
In an interview with Political Analysis South Africa, Michael Morris from the South African Institute of Race Relations (IRR) said that the sentence will signal to other people who may want hurl racial slurs to think twice before they do it.
Morris added that the “striking sentence” could encourage people on both sides of the political divide to follow the legal route when it comes to issues of racism.
He however warned that the case could see more people choosing to resolve social issues through the judicial system.
Momberg’s sentencing comes against the backdrop of a report by the IRR which showed that the racial relations in the country are at a positive level. The report, released last week on Human Rights Day, stated that most of the country’s citizens feel a sense of optimism regarding the country’s future.
The report noted, however, that racial rhetoric in the South Africa has risen and should be curbed as to decrease fears by minority races in country.