A South African court jailed a white woman on Wednesday for yelling racist abuse at a black policeman, in a case that laid bare attitudes that endure more than two decades after the end of apartheid.
In a ruling that lawyers believed to be the first prison term imposed in South Africa for verbal racial abuse, estate agent Vicki Momberg was sentenced to three years, with one year suspended, for directing deeply offensive slurs at the officer.
Previously people convicted of the same crime have been fined.
A video clip went viral following the incident in 2016 when the policeman tried to help Momberg after thieves broke into her car at night at a shopping center.
It showed her saying she wanted to be helped by a white or ethnic Indian officer, and that black people were “plain and simple useless” and “they are clueless, clueless”.
In her rant, she several times called the policeman a “kaffir”, apartheid-era slang for a black person and one of the worst terms of hate speech in South Africa.
Momberg wiped away tears as judge Pravina Rugoonandan read the ruling in a Johannesburg court, finding her guilty on four counts.
Momberg’s lawyer Kevin Lawlor said she will seek the right to appeal her sentence.