Oscar Pistorius - 911

Now that the “trial of the century” (or, at least, one of the more spellbinding trials to be broadcast in South Africa) has come to a close, I am still fascinated by the great deal of public interest that the Pistorius case continues to generate – despite its having been postponed so often, and despite the events taking place over a year ago. And despite all the very tragic events happening elsewhere in the world.

Having closely followed this case myself, I have traversed a vast array of emotions, ranging from disgust, to sympathy, back to anger and then to empathy.

I had not been a supporter of Mr Pistorius myself, but was fleetingly aware of his achievements, as he was so often talked about in the media, and I couldn’t really ignore his face plastered on so many billboards across South Africa and the UK.

I also happened to be in the Olympic Stadium the day he ran the race that sparked controversial comments from him – you know the one I mean. What I remember about that day was the noise of the crowd’s adulation for him that was so loud that we couldn’t even hear our own conversation.

And then it all came to an abrupt end, early one morning in 2013. His long-time supporters couldn’t believe what had happened, and defended his honour “until proven guilty”.  Slowly, as the trial progressed, many of them turned against him, branding him a “murderer”.

Throughout the trial, I kept wondering what it must’ve felt like to the Steenkamp family, having lost a daughter, and the world was focussed on the person who had taken her away from them.  But there were also times when I couldn’t help feeling sorry for Mr Pistorius, slowly realising what he was really up against, and that his life would never be the same again, his happiness probably seeming very short-lived.

A human life has been lost, and another hangs in the balance. Feeling sympathy for him does not make me a moron or an idiot – it makes me an empathetic human. While I feel a great deal of sympathy for Ms Steenkamp’s family, I feel a degree of empathy for the Pistorius family – what would I have done if it were my brother being tried by a court and being tried by media and the public? What an awful place to be.  

He has not been found guilty of murder – in my opinion, it was most likely manslaughter (or culpable homicide) as a result of a horrible error in judgement, but that’s just my uneducated opinion. I obviously wasn't there and don't know what really happened.

What I hoped more people would consider is that maybe we shouldn’t be the ones to judge him – I think he’s already in his own personal hell, and they haven’t even reached a verdict yet.  Do with that what you will.

SterLINK_Archer 2014/08/11 09:28:18 PM
I disagree, He's as guilty as OJ was... But I like the manner in which you wrote this. It was fair opinion.
WildCatSally 2014/08/11 09:57:47 PM
Well written and unbiased piece. Whether Oscar Pistorius is found guilty of murder, manslaughter either/or culpable homicide, As a nation I feel we have been held "hostage" via the Media and yes, I've hung on every aspect of this case, but its time for this "soapy" as many have called it, to finish and let us ALL have some sense of "closure". I think we deserve it and the Steenkamp/Pistorius families need the final curtain drawn. So, September 11, arrive swiftly!
Alex Bax 2014/08/11 10:16:50 PM
Where I have a problem with his version is, I too was confronted with a intruder at 2am l had a gun, but chose to point it at him and shoot it past his ear, if you are a gun owner/enthusiast you can remain calm simply because you are totally in charge.
Colleen 2014/08/11 10:28:30 PM
Nice neutral and empathetic read. I wish I could feel as neutral as you do regarding OP's guilt. I believe he is guilty as charged and unlike you, I dont believe that the verdict has yet to be decided. I think that Judge Masipa already had her verdict firmly in her mind by the close of the trial. As you say, lives have irrevocably been altered and ended in those pivotal moments during which Oscar gave vent to his most primal, uncontrolled urge. Yes, he was dealt a raw deal in life with his physical defect but at the same time, life handed him talent, opportunity, fame and wealth as compensation - not handed to many other people able-bodied or not. I too followed every word of this trial and my verdict is in. Guilty as charged.
Craig Niemann 2014/08/11 10:43:58 PM
He is a gutless rat who killed a defenceless young woman and now he is showing just how slimey he is by denying what he truly did and is trying to weasel out of it with lies , Murderer !!!!!
Doreen Sibley 2014/08/11 11:04:16 PM
I hope the judge will do her job and find Oscar not guilty.
Andrew Brown 2014/08/12 02:04:45 AM
A 'culpable murder' is an act of negligence that results in the death of a person. A murder is where you intend to bring grave injury or death to a person and you take actions to achieve that death. Pistorius murdered the person who was cowering behind that door. He went and found a gun he approached the location where that person was, he aimed and he pulled the trigger knowing that four shots aimed into the small cubicle was going to bring horrendous injury or death to the person inside. That, my friends, is murder.
Schulla 2014/08/12 02:12:45 AM
Johan Roberts I agree with you!! Well done!!
Ruthy Creed 2014/08/12 06:24:04 AM
This case is NOT to be compared to OJ.Totally different circumstances. I fell the man is guilty whether it was a 'perceived' intruder or not. He had no justification to shoot 4 rounds...I do think that when he called stander, Stander said 'you shot' her? did u think she was an intruder?? and the story then unfolded..
Karen Evangelista 2014/08/12 07:25:30 AM
Who the hell is Joban Roberts?!? What a complete peice of B S it has written. He or she is the sort of putrid inhumane OP lover that would be absolutely quashed on News 199. Who on Earth gave that space on here? DISGUSTING!