by Pierre le Roux
Like so many people I am following the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. I mean it has its own 24 hour channel on television and has its own Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. There are also live video and audio streams. And no matter where you go or what you do Oscar is there. If he sobs or vomits in court it trends on Twitter. When he covers his ears it immediately gets hundreds of likes on Instagram. Phrases like “I put it to you” and “my lady” have also even made it into our pop culture. The Oscar Pistorius trial has infiltrated our daily lives on so many levels and has piqued our macabre interests. But one thing we tend to forget is that no matter what happens with this trial Oscar Pistorius is screwed either way.
Look, I will be the first to admit that the events that transpired on the morning of 14 February 2013 are tragic. Reeve Steenkamp died and the only two people who really know exactly what happened that morning are Reeva and Oscar. And Reeva is dead and the veracity of Oscar’s version of events is questionable at best.
Oscar’s defense is making him out to be a pussy. When Barry Roux put it to one of the witnesses that Oscar screams like a woman when he is scared, it caused even some on his own defense team to struggle not to laugh. This also led to the meme that went viral that read “What if I put it to you that when my cat gets scared he barks like a dog”.
Before this happened I must be honest and admit that I didn’t even know who Reeva Steenkamp was. It is sad to think that she had to die horribly before she became world famous. I’m sure this was not part of her ten year plan nor was killing her in Oscar’s either.
There are many people speculating about Oscar’s guilt or innocence and I for one will not tender my personal opinion on this in a public forum. It would be irresponsible as it is too soon in the trial to make any predictions. However, one thing is certain – Oscar is guilty of murder. Whether he is found guilty of premeditated murder or culpable homicide the fact stands that he shot and killed Reeva. Nothing in this world will change that. Whether he killed her in a fit of rage or accidentally, she is dead and this will follow him around for the rest of his life. He will always be known as the Olympian who shot and killed his girlfriend.
Oscar’s career is over, sponsors will not touch him and even if he walks away from this it would take a miracle for him to revive his career that he destroyed with four gunshots on Valentine’s Day in 2013. As the world watches the graphic crime scene photos and imagines how terrified Reeva must have been in that toilet cubical that morning; the terrible pain she must have been in and the undignified manner in which she died; it is hard to believe that he will find any forgiveness anytime soon.
Emotional tears, vomiting in court and retching may have worked to win over a jury but this will have no effect on the judge and assessors in his trial. Some members of the public may feel some sympathy for him as he breaks down in court, but skeptics like me still speculate if this is due to him suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, extreme guilt or if it is remorse. Only Oscar will be able to answer this.
There have also been numerous jokes about this murder on the internet. Some jokes are quite funny and others are more distasteful and disrespectful. Also having a dark sense of humor and having a tendency to laugh at my own private jokes my husband caught me last week laughing while I was in the shower. He asked me what was so funny but I was rather hesitant to tell him.
You see, while I was in the shower I imagined what the scene must have looked like that morning: Oscar on his stumps running into the bathroom, all angry or scared and then firing off the shots. I found that mental image extremely funny but then immediately felt guilty for laughing. Naturally hubby did not find this funny as he doesn’t always approve of my sense of humor. Sometimes I don’t either.
My husband and my father-in-law refuse to follow the trial and I think they are missing out. I mean honestly, how can you be angry or happy with the verdict if you didn’t follow the trial? How do you have small talk with people in awkward social situations if you cannot comment on the goings on of that week’s trial? This is our OJ Simpson and if you don’t follow it you will miss out on catchy phrases like “If the gloves don’t fit you must acquit” from the OJ trial. I will be very pissed off if the only catch phrase we are going to get from Oscar’s trial is “I put it to you”.
At this stage of the trial I have many questions about what happened. I want to know why Reeva was still in the clothes she arrived in when she was shot that morning even though she brought an overnight bag with her; what was found on the iPhones and iPads; why their phones were in the bathroom; why he carried Reeva downstairs; why Oscar didn’t phone an ambulance; did they have a fight before he shot her; if he truly thought there was an intruder why did he not wake Reeva up, is that not normally the first thing a reasonable person would do; and if the bathroom light was on when he shot Reeva why did he choose to conceal that fact.
To be honest, I think by the time we get close to the end of this trial everyone who has followed it will be suffering from Oscar fatigue. Many people would have learned a great deal about how the South African court system works and how it is not glamorous and that real life forensic police work is nothing like the CSI you see on television.
But that being said, it remains tragic. A woman who very few people knew of is now dead and famous for all the wrong reasons. The once proud son of South Africa is now a fallen hero with very little chance of redemption. Even though many of Oscar’s fans will still love and support him no matter what, he is screwed either way. Oscar is now a murderer. Oscar is that guy who killed his girlfriend. This is how he will be remembered and there is very little that he can now do to change that.
Till next time.