JOHANNESBURG – Former estate agent Vicky Momberg told the Randburg Magistrate's Court on Monday that she believed the footage of her shouting racial insults at police officers in 2016 was tampered with.
On 3 February 2016 Momberg, 48, was caught on camera using abusive and racist language towards police officers after they tried to assist her. Momberg was visibly upset. She had been a victim of a smash-and-grab theft.
“I watched the video and feel there’s tampering with the footage,” Momberg told the court.
She said at the time she had been traumatised. “Everything I said was [in] trauma, I can’t explain …”
The defence lawyer, advocate Joe Davidovitz, asked his client if she remembered calling one of the police officers a “black bastard and f***ing k*****.” Momberg said she couldn’t remember as she had lashed out at everyone that night.
She is facing four counts of crimen injuria for her alleged utterances.
Earlier, prosecutor Yusuf Baba notified the court that an application had been made by the media to record video footage of the trial.
Speaking through her counsel, Momberg told the court that owing to her fragile emotional state she was not comfortable with testifying while there were cameras present in the courtroom, even if they were not recording the procedures.
Dressed in a black jacket and a pink scarf, Momberg testified that she did not have a permanent place of residence. She said she was living with various people.
Momberg said she had matric and a diploma in fashion design and a number of certificates related to the property industry.
However, she was unemployed at present.
When asked by her counsel how she had felt after the attack, Momberg remained silent and then began to sob. The court adjourned for a few minutes to allow her to compose herself.
Back in the dock, Momberg testified that she remembered three people, including a white police officer, who she said was the first to approach her.
“He [the black officer] came towards me like he was going to hit me, he kept asking me what happened and at the time I was getting many calls.”
Davidovitz asked Momberg to tell the court what she could remember about the argument she said she had had with the police officers.
“I kept saying to him, 'Please can someone take me home?'" she said. Davidovitz asked her if she remembered calling 10111 and calling the operator the k-word and the b-word.
“I can’t remember what I said,” Momberg responded.
“I remember I was angry, I can’t remember what words I used. At that time I didn’t care, I just wanted help.”
Davidovitz asked her whether she had used the k-word before. Momberg said she didn’t recall using it on a daily basis.
“Of course it’s a derogatory word, it’s not part of socialising vocabulary,” Momberg said.
Her counsel reminded her that “your voice (recording) depicts you using the k-word a number of times as well as in the video. Are you able to tell the court why you used that word?”
“No I can’t,” Momberg said. “I don’t think it’s fair for me to say how I feel about using those words, there was no meaning behind them.”
Prosecutor Baba said: “According to your testimony you are not a racist …”
To which Momberg responded that she wouldn’t say she was a racist because she had clients from various races.
Baba told Momberg that as much as she said she wasn’t a racist, she had been caught on camera using the k-word 48 times.
Momberg said she felt it was exaggerated. She seemed to laugh before saying that at the time of the incident she hadn't wanted a black person near her.
Baba referred to a similar case in Durban, where Momberg was charged and acquitted for crimen injuria.
Momberg allegedly asked to be assisted by anyone except a black person at a Durban police station in 2006.
Baba asked Momberg about the 10111 recording and the video and why she said the state had selected only some of the recordings. Momberg said it was her opinion that the video appeared to have been tampered with.
“I was a victim … just as much as anyone else was a victim,” she said.
“I’ve had many traumatic situations and no one has been prosecuted. Our justice system is unfair.”
The trial was postponed until Thursday.
African News Agency