Oscar Pistorius was found not guilty of murder. Now whether you’re a proud South African or a hill billy who checks in with the internet every now and then, you have probably heard of the Paralympic winner who was on trial for murdering his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day in 2013. Well, if you haven’t heard of any of this before that’s basically the story.
Oscar shot and killed Reeva who he had been dating for less than six months. The story goes something like this, Reeva was staying over at Oscar’s place, in the middle of the night he gets up (she’s awake) he goes to bring the fans in (or something like that) she quietly goes off to the bathroom to pee. He hears a noise, grabs his gun approaches the door, whispering, loudly, for her to call the police but never checking that she’s actually ok. He approaches the bathroom door shouting at them to “Get the F*&$ out” (never mentioning that he’s going to shoot) and then when he doesn’t hear a response, he shoots four times. Some time passes and he realises Reeva could have been the one in the bathroom and then he goes and puts his legs on and proceeds to try breaking down the door by all means necessary, including but not limited to the use of his cricket bat. He eventually breaks the door down and find it was in fact Reeva who he had shot.
He calls for help, people arrive, he’s arrested, he’s crying (which becomes a regular thing) he says he thought she was a burglar the State says he intended to murder her.
That’s the facts folks, well slightly hairy facts but for the main part that is what happened.
So my confession today, because it is Wednesday and I am linking up with Kat and Ian, is that Judge Masipa got it wrong. While I respect her, she gave a full explanation as to what dolus eventualis is (if A intends to kill B but kills C instead) he is still guilty of intending to kill. Oscar clearly intended to kill the “intruder” behind the door if we believe he didn’t actually want to kill his girlfriend. She admitted in her judgment that Oscar was a bad witness, he lies and yet she trusted his version.
The State’s job was to prove that Oscar intended to kill. While they may have not had enough evidence at their disposal to prove Reeva was the intended kill, despite a number of inconsistencies in Oscar’s evidence, they did prove he intended to kill.
However, Judge Masipa did find him guilty of culpable homicide (manslaughter) which is the negligent killing of a human being. He will be sentenced in October.
I could write pages and pages about my opinion of the judgment but I won’t because everyone has an opinion and this way, when I catch up with my lawyer friends they won’t know my full on opinion.
Did you know anything about this trial? Do you think he is guilty of murder?