Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Pistorius Trial Over, Well It's About Time

The story of Oscar Pistorius aka The Blade Runner is one that resembles a Greek tragedy, a Fall from Grace, the burning out of the candle, you get the picture. It all began on Valentine's Day 14 February 2013 and came to its conclusion on 21 October 2013, even though I reckon there are a few more chapters to be written in this story. A sports hero who fatally killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp while she was in the toilet. This trial was supposed to be the OJ Simpson case of the 21st Century, but I think someone forgot to hand judge Masipa the script for how The Oscar Pistorius trial was supposed to play out.
The Blade Runner
I was young and we did not have satellite TV at the time that the OJ Simpson trial was airing in the United States of America in 1994. I only got to know the drama surrounding the whole case only a few years ago. And yes who can forget the glove in the OJ case. I guess I am a little guilty of thinking that the Pistorius case would be as dramatic, nail biting and highly entertaining. It had these in shades of grey, thank you for that judge Masipa. This trial began on 3 March 2014 with a bang, it was high rating must see TV. Everyone in the office was talking about it, waiting for that case defining witness, confession of Oscar after the prosecutor bludgeons him with questions, or the lawyers going at one another's throat. This is the case that I wanted to see, someone forgot to tell me that things do not work like that in the world, damn you John Grisham.

The majority of my legal knowledge has come from reading tons of John Grisham legal thrillers- The Firm, The Client, Runaway Jury, The Testament, King of Tort, The Innocent Man, The Confession, The Associate, what haven't I read. I had been brain washed to thinking that Oscar Pistorius trial would have some semblance to what I was reading. This trial was like watching the credits at the end of a movie roll, hardly any action. The trial had dragged and in the end, I had enough and was no longer interested in it anymore. I relied on twitter for the occasional updates but I ceased being a devotee. Even the moments when the trial attempted to gather some steam the judge would take it for a long recess like when Oscar had to go for a psychological evaluation. I think the judge wanted to prolong her screen time  as long as lawfully possible.

I do not wish to comment on whether justice was served or not, like I mentioned I did not watch the whole trial faithfully. Besides my knowledge of the South African law is too limited for me to draw a conclusion, so I will not be rushing to condemn the 5 year conviction he has been given. Before I decide what would have constituted justice, I will wait for Hollywood to make the movie, then I will give my verdict. In the mean time, I am just glad this trial is over because it had overstayed its welcome in the media. 


  1. I was very very disappointed with the whole thing. Common sense says there is something rotten in the state of south Africa.

    1. Hi Muuka, thanks for reading. I know that there are number of people who are disappointed with the conviction. Did you follow the case from start to finish?

    2. "Masipa, however, appears to have focused her interpretation of the law on the fact that the athlete didn’t knowingly kill Steenkamp, while the law clearly refers to the death of a person, any person, and not necessarily the person identified in a charge sheet. It is on this key point that she is likely to come in for some ferocious criticism over the next few days.
      She harshly criticised Pistorius’s performance while on the stand, describing him as a “poor witness”, labelling him “evasive”, but then cautioned that untruthfulness does not necessarily mean guilt.

      It was an odd comment, considering that the judge clearly believed Pistorius’s version of events to acquit him of murder dolus eventualis.

      But, bearing in mind that he had proffered not one, but three, different versions of events while he was on that stand a few months ago, it would be interesting to know which version Masipa actually believed.

      Is it possible Masipa didn’t have the courage to convict the celebrity athlete, and left that job to an appeal judge instead? Her views of the star witness were certainly strong, and it appeared at one stage as she read out her ruling that she would reach a different verdict."

      Interesting, isn't it?

    3. Hi Anonymous, thanks for reading. I think if this judgement is taken to the supreme court it would be interesting to hear the prosecutors arguments.

  2. The Judge made her judgment based on the evidence that was before her. Having no witnesses to the killing made it a little more complicated to ascertain if the killing was pre-meditated.