Racial tensions in South Africa have been skyrocketing since their government passed legislation to forcibly seize farmland from white farmers (without compensation) and hand it over to black farmers. The nation  has yet to heal from it’s recent history of apartheid, and the efforts to heal are now firmly in the past with  new leading party that has vowed to reject Mandela’s policy of reconciliation.

In a case that may set the tone for future racially related incidences, a white woman from Johannesburg has been sentence to 3 years in prison for a racist rant against a black police officer.

Vicki Momberg called the Johannesburg police after her car had been broken into. After noticing that one of the officers was black she launched into a vicious verbal tirade against the man and black South Africans in general. Momberg repeatedly used the South African equivalent of the “N-word” while irately refusing to be aided by a black officer.

The rant is almost too profane to print but video of the encounter was released to Twitter.

 

Eventually Momberg was arrested and tried for “crimen injuria” – harming another person’s dignity. She is the first person in the troubled nation to receive jail time for racist speech. At the sentencing hearing Momberg remained defiant.

While Momberg’s rant was certainly vile the case could have frightening consequences for speech and free expression in the future.

South Africa is well on it’s way to recreating apartheid with the roles reversed this time.