South African woman recorded racially abusing police officer jailed for 3 years

Vicki Momberg was sentenced to prison for a racial rant against a black police officer.

Story highlights

  • South African woman yelled racial slurs at a black police officer in 2016 incident
  • Momberg's sentencing is significant in its severity

Johannesburg (CNN)A South African woman who hurled racist abuse at a black police officer in a clip that went viral has been sentenced to three years in prison with one year suspended.

Vicki Momberg was found guilty in November on four counts of crimen injuria, or the willful injuring of someone's dignity.
It's the first time a South African has received prison time for the offense.
    "We've had crimen injuria (cases before), but they have always been coupled by other charges. This is the first for a prison sentence for crimen injuria on its own," National Prosecuting Authority spokeswoman Phindi Mjonondwane said.
    Mjonondwane said the court's punishment sets a precedent for future cases: "We are pleased with the sentence. This sends a clear message to those who undermine other people's rights."
    Momberg, a former estate agent, was caught on video berating South African Police Service officers who had stopped to assist her after thieves broke into her car in Johannesburg. She repeatedly used a highly offensive slur that was commonly used to insult and demean black people during apartheid.
    Magistrate Pravina Rugoonandan denied Momberg bail after the sentencing in Johannesburg. Momberg's lawyers are expected to lodge an appeal next week.
    Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Michael Masutha welcomed the sentenced and reiterated his department's commitment to fighting racially