The South African Police Union (Sapu) says it hopes the two-year prison term handed down to Vicki Momberg will help educate people that racism and all other forms of discrimination are unacceptable.
The Randburg Magistrates Court handed down the sentence this week after Momberg was caught on camera in a verbal attack where she called police officers the k word.
Momberg will remain behind bars while her defense lawyer applies for leave to appeal, possibly as soon as next week.
If the planned appeal fails, the Johannesburg estate agent will become the first person in South Africa to be jailed for crimen injuria.
Sapu's Peter Nstime says, “This will set a precedence to racists and those who want to practice racism in this country. This was in the media and would have seen that police officers were badly treated during the incident.”
Momberg’s jail term is being hailed as a precedent and a clear indication that the use of the k-word and other racial slurs is not meaningless in South Africa.
The Human Rights’ Gayle Smith said: “They’re of an affront to human dignity of the people to whom they’re directed.”
Human Rights lawyer Tracy Lawman says Momberg’s sentence also sends a strong message to black people that their feelings are being recognised.
“I think it sends a very strong message to other races that these comments are being taken very seriously.”
South Africans have taken to social media to react to Momberg’s two-year jail term, with some saying her sentence was not overly harsh but sends a strong message out.