The transformation of transgender women into goddesses for an annual Hindu festival takes place in an atmosphere of reverent, somber concentration. Laugh lines vanish, replaced by an impassive mask. Skin becomes stone. As they prepared to perform in the Mayana Kollai festival in a fishing village in the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, some of the dancers slipped into trances so deep it appeared they might have fainted.
Under the smooth guidance of state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, the case’s investigating officer Hilton Botha delivered what seemed to be a damning case against Pistorius in the morning session. But when defence advocate Barry Roux began his cross-examination of Hilton, it took very little time for things to fall apart. As a criminal lawyer pointed out to the Daily Maverick, “the skills of the prosecutor mean nothing if the IO [investigating officer] caves in the stand.” After a full grilling from Roux, the police work on the case was made to look sloppy and careless. – Rebecca Davis at Daily MaverickBACK TO TOP