Constitutional Hill

Oscar Pistorius: why media reporting is not infringing on sub judice rule

Shocking allegations, suggesting that Oscar Pistorius murdered Reeva Steenkamp in cold blood in a fit of rage, was published in City Press yesterday. The publication of these allegations (which one assumes emanated from somewhere inside the SAPS) illustrates that the so called sub judice rule is no longer in existence in its original guise in South Africa. It also illustrates that in the court of public opinion the notion of “innocent until proven guilty” (as well as appeals to the sub judice rule) are often used by those blindly and loyally supporting a criminal accused (regardless the alleged facts) to try and avoid admitting that their guy might very well be a criminal. These two issues are intimately related with one another.

In a criminal justice system in which criminal trials are heard by a jury of ordinary citizens, relatively strict rules are often in place to regulate reporting on criminal cases. Where incriminating allegations against an accused flood the media before the start of a trial, the minds of potential jury members might be contaminated as they might form a strong opinion about the guilt or innocence of the accused – long before the state begins to present the evidence against that accused in court.

The sub judice rule is often used for the purpose of regulating reporting on criminal cases before the courts to prevent this from happening. Where the proper administration of justice may be prejudiced or interfered with, this would constitute a breach of the sub judice rule and a person guilty of such interference could be found guilty of the offence of contempt of court.

This principle also operates in a constitutional democracy, as the right to a fair trial will be infringed if presiding officers prejudge issues that are under judicial consideration, or if improper pressure is brought to bear on witnesses or judicial officers involved in a criminal trial. The right to a fair trial must, however, be balanced against the right to freedom of expression. This balance will be struck differently in a country with a jury system than in a country with a system like ours where judges or magistrates hear criminal cases without the assistance of a jury.

Taking into account the constitutional guarantee to freedom of expression as well as the fact that the jury system was entirely abolished in South Africa in 1969, the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in effect gutted the sub judice rule in 2007 in the case of Midi Television (Pty) Ltd v Director of Public Prosecutions (Western Cape). In that judgment the SCA confirmed that the broad scope of this rule which was in force in the pre-democratic era has been severely curtailed by the Constitution. In the context of pre-publication censorship imposed on the media in relation to reporting of criminal cases, Nugent JA, writing for a full bench of five judges, summarised the new position as follows:

[A] publication will be unlawful, and thus susceptible to being prohibited, only if the prejudice that the publication might cause to the administration of justice is demonstrable and substantial and there is a real risk that the prejudice will occur if publication takes place. Mere conjecture or speculation that prejudice might occur will not be enough. Even then publication will not be unlawful unless a court is satisfied that the disadvantage of curtailing the free flow of information outweighs its advantage. In making that evaluation it is not only the interests of those who are associated with the publication that need to be brought to account but, more important, the interests of every person in having access to information.

This test must be applied in the light of the principle set out in President of the Republic of South Africa and Others v South African Rugby Football Union and Others, which affirmed that judicial officers will be presumed to be impartial in adjudicating disputes. In this case, in which the late Louis Luyt asked several judges of the Constitutional Court to recuse themselves from the hearing because of an apprehension that they would be biased against him, the Constitutional Court argued that this presumption “is based on the recognition that legal training and experience prepare judges for the often difficult task of fairly determining where the truth may lie in a welter of contradictory evidence”. Unlike jurors, judges will not easily be swayed by gossip or even by serious and credible allegations about an accused in a criminal case published in the media.

This means that publications of allegations about a criminal case will almost never be thought to pose a “real risk of prejudice” to an accused. Of course, if a newspaper rushes into publication with incriminating allegations about a criminal trial and this information turns out to be untrue, the acquitted person could always sue the newspaper for defamation. But that is a separate matter to the question of whether the accused would be able to receive a fair trial.

Ordinary citizens are thought to be far more likely to jump to conclusions than trained judges. We often make judgements about the guilt or innocence of an accused long before the criminal trial has been concluded, often based partly on media reporting and partly on our own emotional and ideological commitments. Who among us have not assumed that those charged with the brutal rape and murder of Anene Booysen are guilty of the crimes they are being prosecuted for? Some called the accused in that case “monsters” involved in a horrible crime. (I suspect some of the same people who thought or said such things are referring to the killing of Reeva Steenkamp as a “tragic event” and are rather sympathetic to Oscar Pistorius, either because he is famous,  because he is white, because he is rich, or because he is a man with a gun.)

Similarly, even in the face of serious and credible allegations published in the media that a politician was guilty of fraud or corruption, some would continue to support that politician (invoking the mantra of “innocent until proven guilty”), because of emotional and ideological reasons which have nothing to do with the credibility of the allegations published in the media. ANC members will often pretend allegations against an ANC leader was never made, while DA members will try and argue that the allegations made against one of their own were cooked up by the ANC. The opposite is also true: a staunch DA or ANC member will often assume that a leader from the opposite party is guilty of corruption on the basis of the flimsiest of allegations.

The fact is that in an open and democratic society (one that is deeply divided by our past but in which a free press is flourishing), it is inevitable that citizens will make assumptions about the guilt or innocence of an accused and that such assumptions will often have just as much to do with the credibility of the allegations published in the media than with the prejudices and emotional and ideological commitments of the individual citizens.

One can try and moderate these impulses by warning citizens that a person has not actually been convicted and by pointing out that facts often emerge at a trial that cast a different light on the allegations reported in the media, but that is not going to stop people taking sides and making assumptions about the guilt or innocence of an accused. It also does not absolve us of our responsibility to make (tentative) moral judgments about people based on all the available evidence. To hold otherwise is to require us to abdicate our responsibility as thinking citizens.

That is why I am thankful we do not have a jury system in South Africa. While I would normally trust judges to keep an open mind and to focus on facts actually proven by the state, I would not trust a jury of South African men and women to make decisions based on the facts instead of their own emotions and prejudices.

  • Adam

    What a wast of my time.

  • Margaret

    Legally speaking, this may be entirely correct, but there is more to a high profile case than just legal technicalities. Treating an as of yet unconvicted person as a criminal in the media and the public sphere damages a person’s reputation and dignity beyond what can be recitified in court if said person is found not guilty. This becomes an issue of human rights, which in turn goes to the heart of a democracy. Also, how can the public use the notion of innocent until proven guilty to defend a criminal if the supposed criminal has not yet been convicted? An unconvicted person is surely not yet a criminal regardless of how certain you may be that he is guilty. What is currently known about the Pistorius case makes him look guilty, but this will always be the case when one only hears the side of the police or prosecution and what emerges in court may be very different, as has often been the case. Either way, the man won’t become less guilty if one waits to hear all the evidence and counter arguments before branding him a criminal. Ultimately, the golden rule should apply even if the constitution does not.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Thanks Prof

    How does this affect the leaking of affidavits in the Competition Commission investigation in collusion in the construction industry?

  • Chris (not the right wing guy!)

    Well said, Prof De Vos.

  • Brett Nortje

    It does not speak well of discipline in the SAPS that there are so many leaks.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    “Unlike jurors, judges will not easily be swayed by gossip or even by serious and credible allegations about an accused in a criminal case published in the media.”

    However – if one has already decided to politicise the crime based on whatever information presented in the media, it places a burden on those judges, especially if they are male, to disprove those assumptions about their collective guilt and might very well prejudice the case.

    It turns into a witch hunt – time now to root out this scourge of male domination and lets make an example.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Chris (not the right wing guy!)
    February 18, 2013 at 13:14 pm

    “Well said, Prof De Vos.”

    Ditto!

  • Gwebecimele

    Nothing stops Pistorius from making his side of the story known, instead he chose to sit and strategise with lawyers and PR experts. It is unfair to ask or expect the public to have the patience for the tardy justice system or play along with the defense strategy. This case must dealt with swiftly for the sake of all involved including Pistorius.

    I can only imagine what the families are going thru and it will be unfair to bury a loved one without knowing what happened to them.

    I think a decent human being would have long approached the family of his girlfriend and not only explain what happened but also share in the loss.

    This innocent until proven guilty only lives inside our judges, sometimes warmed up by tea. Majority of those who abuse it, tend to be guilty.

    There is life beyond our courts, dammit.

  • mumble

    “in cold blood in a fit of rage” is contradictory; it seems Oscar’s blood was very hot indeed.

    In American terms, it looks like second-degree murder, and if the only charge is “premeditated murder” (i.e. first-degree), there’s a chance he could walk.

    Oh, look… Another Oscar Pistorius joke.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Gwebecimele
    February 18, 2013 at 14:45 pm

    Isn’t it wonderful to advocate for a lynch mob mentality in a constitutional democracy.

  • StevenI

    @ Pierre – “While I would normally trust judges…………….”

    That’s a bit of an indictment on our Judges – does that mean you would also want to select your preferential judge?

  • Gwebecimele

    OB

    I thought the “Constitutional Democracy” is silent on how boyfriends should relate to their girlfriend’s family. Last time I checked it supports the speedy resolution of cases.

    This father and the rest of the family would love to know what whappened to their daughter.

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/reeva-s-father-i-don-t-hate-oscar-1.1471911

  • Gwebecimele

    Steenkamp’s mother June Steenkamp said in an interview published in the Times on Monday that she wanted answers on why her daughter had “died like this”.

    “Why my little girl? Why did this happen? Why did he do this? What for?” asked Steenkamp.

    “She had so much of herself to give and now all that is gone. Just like that, she is gone… In the blink of an eye and a single breath, the most beautiful person who ever lived is no longer here,” she told the newspaper in a phone interview from her home in Seaview, Port Elizabeth.

    “All we have is this horrendous death to deal with … to get to grips with. All we want are answers … answers as to why this had to happen, why our beautiful daughter had to die like this.”

  • terence grant

    ridiculous!If a magistrate/judge hears via the media that a rapist has been convicted on previous occassions for rape he/she is more likely to convict.Basically,justice has been thrown to the wolves in order to help the media sell newspapers

  • Loudly South African

    You make interesting arguments about the jury vs a (single) judge system.

    Many South Africans do not share your equanimity about the impartiality of its judges. With the ANC bent (pardon the pun) on packing the bench with the same sort of loyal cadres is would like to “deploy” in the police and NPA, one may be better off being tried by a jury.

    The original notion of being tried by a “jury of one’s peers” which goes back to Magna Carta was introduced specifically to limit the power of the regime. If a jury is truly of one’s peers in our racially divided society, one has a better chance of a fair trial. Jury systems are normally biased in favour of the accused, but in the US jury selection has become a legal speciality. Under the SA jury system (unlike in the US) the jury merely decides on guilt or innocence, not the sentence. A good judge will also “instruct” and guide the jury.

  • Passerby

    @ Terence Grant……good grief……..if our judicial system is even minimally functional then surely any prior convictions would be made known to presiding officers and be an important consideration during sentencing. If not then I am grateful that the media would make it known rather than have a repeat offender treated leniently (or worse still walk free)

  • http://www.unisa.ac.za sebjeni Moyahabo

    I heard Gerrie Nel is the prosecutor in the matter, that on its own reduces the chance of state incompetence.

    It is to ask too much to expect the ordinary people to wait for a real story to unfold like a movie. Its not only unfair, but also imprectical. That is why I believe the two quoted cases are a true reflection of reality on the ground.

    with this twitter and other social networks, how many would be prosecuted merely because someone shot the girlfriend, let alone that there is the freedom to impart and receive information (whether correct or incorrect).

    well done Prof, the most respectable Pistorius will find us along the way.

  • http://www.unisa.ac.za sebjeni Moyahabo

    “impractical” i meant.

  • Dmwangi

    “That is why I am thankful we do not have a jury system in South Africa. While I would normally trust judges to keep an open mind and to focus on facts actually proven by the state, I would not trust a jury of South African men and women to make decisions based on the facts instead of their own emotions and prejudices.”

    Classic PdV. Elevating judicial officers to demigods while holding the common man in contempt. I would trust any 10 people chosen at random to adjudicate cases more than I would PdV and friends.

  • Mark O

    Some more proof reading before going to press with this piece might have been in order. I’ve noticed two grammatical errors in the first highlighted paragraph, alone.

  • Olinka

    amen i fully agree thx

  • Brett Nortje

    Amen, Brother Mwangi! Well said.

    Dmwangi says:
    February 18, 2013 at 18:18 pm

  • Andre

    Well done prof and Gerrie is the right man

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    But he won’t get a fair trail, any which way – with this thing now escalated to global political dimension.

    “Pistorius case and the plague of violence against women”

    “(CNN) — On the same day that thousands of women stood up to participate in One Billion Rising, billed as the largest mass action to stop violence against women and girls, the sad news came from South Africa that yet another woman was killed. The reason we took notice of 30-year-old Reeva Steenkamp’s death among so many others killed every day is the shocking news that the man charged with killing her, her boyfriend, is none other than Oscar Pistorius, the athlete known as “Blade Runner,” a double amputee whose Olympic feats on prosthetic carbon fiber legs made him an international superstar.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/02/15/opinion/ghitis-pistorious-women-violence/index.html

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    And Eusebius McKaiser is delighted that at least this time around the perpetrator is white and wealthy. As they say one swallow makes a summer.

    “Belying stereotypes, both Pistorius and his girlfriend were white and well-off. Eusebius McKaiser, an associate at the Wits Centre for Ethics in Johannesburg, said: “It shatters the idea that perpetrators and victims look a certain way. It shatters the belief that domestic violence is solely a product of poverty.”

    Whereas we are reminded about the “other” status of those evil raping and murdering WHITES.

    “Pistorius has, perhaps glibly, been described as a hero to all South Africans when in fact sport often divides along racial lines. White people make up only 9% of the population, and his appeal in black townships and villages has rarely been tested. On the day after the killing, the editorial of the Sowetan newspaper was devoted to the fall of a sporting “legend” – not Pistorius but Phil Setshedi, a football coach jailed for match fixing. McKaiser added: “For many black South Africans, any embarrassment they have about this story going global is mitigated by the fact that ‘he’s not one of us’. This is the way race plays out in South Africa.”

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/feb/16/reeva-steenkamp-shooting

    As I said a sign of the times. These very, very sick “liberal” people know no qualms or shame.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Hmmm! Is that your final answer or would you like to call a friend?

    http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/i-saw-reeva-die-1.1471707#.USKGkvLex8E

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    It is more or less the same tactic as rightwingers who “politicise crime” and blame the ANC and/or black people every time we see a farm murder. Only – then our so-called White liberals are pretty fucking quick to jump up and talk about “racist generalisation” and how “crime/crime effects everybody”.

    And that is the problem I see, because of the “moral vacuum” [as Zezek would put it], liberalism is not liberalism based on universal values any more, but rather defines itself as a reaction to something else – its ideological enemy and in that mimics everything that is abhorrent about the ideology it opposes.

  • Gwebecimele

    So Ramphele is teaming up with the likes of Mashele, M Mbeki and others and this comes from details of the company that registered her website according to SAfm this morning. She will soon learn that once you are on the other side its better to speak soon rather than wait for media to dig around. The recent fall out between Mashele and Mbeki might complicate things for her.

    Her initiatives must be welcomed but she needs to work a bit smarter. Firstly she is clear about the differences between her and the ANC but not so clear about uniqueness from other parties. It is time to speak clearly especially to DA that she does not support youth wage subsidy, extractive economy and she has no time for for those who suffer from the “dethroned Bonobo Syndrome”. Silence the “why you did not join DA brigade” once and for all.

    She must be careful of opportunists who always jump ship just to be in front row at every deck. The characters around her must be genuine. South African elites both black & white stand for nothing but themselves, she has a better chance with the poor votes than rich donations.

    Lastly she must not forget her BC grounding which others are starting to question after her time at World Bank and Goldfields.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Gwebecimele
    February 19, 2013 at 9:52 am

    “Lastly she must not forget her BC grounding which others are starting to question after her time at World Bank and Goldfields.”

    True, enough but count me out then cause I’m a White dog that should fuck off or start again with nothing. What we desperately, desperately need in South Africa is another race obsessed political party.

  • Brett Nortje

    Like you, you mean? Which pole you firing off this morning?

    Ozoneblue says:
    February 19, 2013 at 9:09 am
    “It is more or less the same tactic as rightwingers who “politicise crime””

  • Gwebecimele

    ‘The judicial cloak is not an impregnable shield providing immunity against criticism or reproach … [It] is judicial delay rather than complaints about it that is a threat to judicial independence because delays destroy the public confidence in the judiciary”. JUDGE HARMS

  • Gwebecimele

    OB

    Yes, Mamphele will do better without characters like you who are both black and white.

  • Gwebecimele
  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Gwebecimele
    February 19, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I have noticed she is sponsored by USA. Our White liberals will be very much delighted, it means they don’t have to redistribute their wealth.

    Biko will spin in his grave.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Ozone Boy,

    Cheer up.

    There’s another guy like you on this planet.

    He’s a lawyer representing Oscar!

  • annette

    I’m just don’t understand your last paragraph/thought:

    “While I would normally trust judges to keep an open mind and to focus on facts actually proven by the state, I would not trust a jury of South African men and women to make decisions based on the facts instead of their own emotions and prejudices.”

    What a depressing, Socratic take on democracy. Are you saying that “the common people” are too ignorant, benighted and fickle to entrust with political power? That only the state, those with authority and in power, know what’s good for us?

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    February 19, 2013 at 11:12 am

    I’m already plenty cheered up maggs. Trevor Noah tweets:

    And the Oscar goes to –?

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Ozoneblue
    February 19, 2013 at 11:27 am

    OB,

    No Oscar jokes.

    But have a field day with lawyer jokes – there’s enough material from the bail hearing on Twitter to keep comedians going for the next two generations!

  • Gwebecimele

    Is this article supported by IFP members???

    http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/opinionista/2013-02-18-quo-vadis-whites/

    @ OB

    In SA political parties get funding from everywhere but I hope she will be wise to limit her request for assistance to those she represent. The construction, mining and other tycoons know exactly which side their bread is buttered.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    Good move from the Magistrate. No room for bail and delaying tactics here until he speaks out.

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Pistorius-facing-pre-meditated-murder-charge-20130219

  • Fikile Motsamai Dube

    The media is biased. How come they report more about a perpertrator than the victim. South Africans and indeed the whole world needs to be told about Reeva and not Oscar.
    The family and friends of Reeva are forgotten in all this as if they are just an animal that was knocked down by a car. We need to bereave with the Steenkamp family and leave the perpetrator to face the law for his heinous crime.
    Please may reporters think about the family of the young Reeva and be with them in this time of need.

  • Gwebecimele

    @ Fikile

    Steenkamp family have requested a break from the media attention which is fair. The coverage on Oscar is not a positive one and it helps to keep us focussed on the developments. Ordinary people are discussing schedules 6 vs 5 which is a good development. We must not leave this to only the wise men(Kenny Kunene included) at the courts.

    Media must shine the light on this one. Remember celebrities love attention.

  • Gwebecimele
  • Gwebecimele

    FROM THE LAWYERS MOUTH.

    http://www.moneyweb.co.za/moneyweb-financial/major-law-firm-fingered-for-garnishee-abuse

    “When asked to comment on the ethics of charging a 60% interest on a garnisheed amount or of charging a defaulter a net R54 101 to repay an original R6 500 loan, Van den Bout responded as follows: “How can an attorney ethically represent a murderer … we have to act on the instructions of clients.”

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Barry Bateman ‏@barrybateman

    #OscarPistorius I sleep with my 9mm under my bed. I woke up to close the sliding door and heard a noise in the bathroom. BB

    #OscarPistorius I was scared and didnt switch on the light. I got my gun and moved towards the bathroom. I screamed at the intruder. BB

    #OscarPistorius because I did not have my legs on I felt vulnerable. I fired shots through the bathroom door and told Reeva to call police.

    #OscarPistorius I walked back to the bed and realised Reeva was not in bed. Its then it dawned on me it could be her in there. BB

    #OscarPistorius I kicked the door open. Called paramedics and complex security. I tried to carry her down stairs for help. BB

    #OscarPistorius with the benefit of hindsight I realise that Reeva went to the bathroom when I went to close the balcony door. BB

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    So Oscar shoots an intruder in his 1.4 x 1.4 toilet, goes back to bed, realises it may have been Reeva, puts on his legs, goes back to the toilet, kicks in the door, finds her dying, carries her out and down the stairs, in between calling the security and paramedics and his friend (who arrives before the security) in the complex.

    Sounds credible!

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    February 19, 2013 at 14:52 pm

    Maggs. I assume based on evidence in media 90% of reasonably intelligent folks know that he did it. The question is really – was it a “crime of passion” or a [now very politicised] manifestation of yet more “male violence against women”.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/9020905/Murder-can-be-crime-of-passion-says-top-judge.html

    “Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, said juries should be allowed to consider the fact a victim had been unfaithful as a possible provocation – in defiance of a new law that banned it as an excuse. It restores a defence in so-called “crimes of passion” but Lord Judge insisted infidelity cannot be the sole reason for the murder and other “triggers” must be shown. Sitting in the Court of Appeal, he quashed the conviction of a man who killed his wife after she admitted sleeping with five men and then goaded him about it. The last Labour Government changed the law surrounding murder defences to exclude sexual infidelity in “loss of control” killings. But Lord Judge said to exclude it in cases where it was integral was to risk “injustice” and that the law was likely to “produce surprising results”. “

  • Zoo Keeper

    OB

    He has the most appropriate name: Lord Chief Justice Judge.

    Incidentally, I believe his wife’s name also means “Justice”…

  • Anonymouse

    “That is why I am thankful we do not have a jury system in South Africa. While I would normally trust judges to keep an open mind and to focus on facts actually proven by the state, I would not trust a jury of South African men and women to make decisions based on the facts instead of their own emotions and prejudices.”

    Yes – in the lower courts however, courts are sometimes (especially murder cases – except where the accused requests otherwise) forced by law to appoint two lay assessors (ordinary South African men and women – often well schooled in public opinion on the matter – to assist the presiding officer in the fact-finding process. See sect 93ter of the Magistrates’ Courts Act 32 of 1944 as amended. Quite often, these so-called lay-assessors overrule the presiding magistrate on issues of fact – and many convictions ensue whereas the magistrate would have acquitted on the facts. This is the reason why I (and a number of my colleagues) resist appointing assessors at all cost – and, when we do have to use them, we often use the excuse to say that the proof of a particular fact (or set of facts) amounts to a point of law where we alone have the say – especially when discharge of the accused is sought after the case for the prosecution had been closed – and in that way we manage to discharge accused persons that may otherwise have been held guilty by a lay jury of his peers.

  • Anonymouse

    Loudly South African

    February 18, 2013 at 15:52 pm

    See my post above.

    Interesting that Pistorius took the easy way out by presenting an affidavit in his bail hearing today – in so doing, avoiding cross-examination before the trial starts. Although admissible, such affidavits are not well received by courts since they cannot be tested through cross-examination and, when the state produced cross-examined evidence to counter such affidavit, one often finds that bail is refused – even on appeal. Wonder whether that will happen here.

    There are a few things in Oscar’s version that, on face value, sounds improbable: He and Reeva were both in the house (supposedly in bed?) when the ‘intruder’ was heard by him; then the intruder goes and locks himself in the toilet, where ‘he’ is shot at from the outside of the locked door; Oscar stood up, put on his legs and took his fire arm and walked there, without noticing that Reeva was not in bed anymore, and that she was in fact the ‘intruder’; the toilet and bathroom where the incident happened is on the top floor – why would an intruder break and enter so high up?: he fires four shots – three hitting – and Reeva does not even scream once, not even when she was first hit; all that while there are reports that the security or police had been summoned earlier because of a shouting match between him and Reeva.

    Now, if that evidence is presented by the state tomorrow, asking these questions, I am pretty sure that the court will not find that Oscar’s version can be believed. But that doesn not mean that he will not get bail – even where strong cases exist against suspected murderers (and rapists), they often do get bail – I do not want to go into the reasons for that though.

  • Anonymouse

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    February 19, 2013 at 14:52 pm

    So Oscar shoots an intruder in his 1.4 x 1.4 toilet, goes back to bed, realises it may have been Reeva, puts on his legs, goes back to the toilet, kicks in the door, finds her dying, carries her out and down the stairs, in between calling the security and paramedics and his friend (who arrives before the security) in the complex.

    Sounds credible!

    Yeah – I love the part that he ‘walks’ to the bathroom, but feels vulnerable because he doesn’t have his legs on – so he shoots – and then ‘walks’ back to bed where he discovers Reeva is gone. Also, he shouted at the ‘intruder’, and Reeva did not answer?

  • Anonymouse

    And then he ‘kicks’ the door open without his legs on?

  • spoiler

    The UK legal system is nothing to write home about – Judge Judge’s reasoning appears flimsy and would not fly very easily in SA. Yes, a person under severe emotional distress could “lose control” but does that take away his/her intent to commit the crime ? In most cases no. Provocation should only be a mitigating factor at sentence – not the basis for an acquital.

  • Gwebecimele

    “How can an attorney ethically represent a murderer … we have to act on the instructions of clients.”

  • Lisbeth

    Anonymouse

    ” – why would an intruder break and enter so high up?”

    Indeed! And besides, intruders are supposed to intrude, rather than lock themselves in bathrooms. That aside, shooting an intruder through the bathroom door, killing him, is still murder.

    “And then he ‘kicks’ the door open without his legs on?”

    Oscar mentioned that he can walk on his stumps. Perhaps he can then also kick with them?

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    spoiler
    February 19, 2013 at 16:42 pm

    “The UK legal system is nothing to write home about – Judge Judge’s reasoning appears flimsy and would not fly very easily in SA.”

    Of course not. Because we are out on a political crusade – a mission – a grand, internationally acclaimed mission against women abuse and this [fortunate] case of Oscar Pistorius does not fit politically incorrect stereotypes [i.e. he is white and wealthy], he is therefore now our flagship? A publicity stunt in a bigger game.

    How then could he expect a fair trail?

  • sirjay jonson

    Celebrity cases are always unique, in a world sphere of their own. The same rules for we commoners are only promised, rarely delivered. Celebrities do however get people’s attention, all of it dependent on our obsessive interest.

    Celebrity crime is simply a continuation of the entertainment they’ve agreed to supply when they ultimately pay the price for their orchestrated fame. Few celebrities escape this.

    On a mythical level, the devil always collects what is due.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Anonymouse
    February 19, 2013 at 16:39 pm

    Lisbeth
    February 19, 2013 at 18:17 pm

    It’s best not to speculate.

    Anyway the facts are even more curious!

    16.11 I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.

    16.12 It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window.

    As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.

    16.13 I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance. Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding.

    16.14 When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.

    16.15 I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open. I think I must then have turned on the lights.

    I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door. Reeva was slumped over but alive.

    16.16 I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom. I phoned Johan Stander (“Stander”) who was involved in the administration of the estate and asked him to phone the ambulance. I phoned Netcare and asked for help. I went downstairs to open the front door.

    16.17 I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2281135/Blade-Runner-Oscar-Pistorius-goes-public-PR-firm-releases-account-shot-model-girlfriend.html?ITO=socialnet-twitter-mailonline

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    February 19, 2013 at 20:21 pm

    No shit sherlock.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    sirjay jonson
    February 19, 2013 at 20:16 pm

    “Celebrity cases are always unique, in a world sphere of their own. ”

    But I guess in SA its going to be OJ in reverse.

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Anonymouse
    February 19, 2013 at 16:32 pm

    Doc Mouse,

    “Now, if that evidence is presented by the state tomorrow, asking these questions, I am pretty sure that the court will not find that Oscar’s version can be believed.”

    I just love conspiracy theories, especially they type where Mampele Rampele is receiving money from the US government to destabilise the African continent – but more of that at another time.

    In this case the CT is that the oke is gonna plead guilty to avoid a life sentence.

    Now he’s on a fishing expedition to force the NPA to show its hand or as much of it as he can get them to.

    And his lawyer – hayibo!!!!! He just put the word professional into nut.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    February 19, 2013 at 20:34 pm

    “I just love conspiracy theories, especially they type where Mampele Rampele is receiving money from the US government to destabilise the African continent – but more of that at another time.”

    The truth is the African continent cannot be further “destabilised” cause it is already totally and irreparably fucked. Much like the bombing of Kabul, the most memorable and intense battle during the WAR ON TERROR.

  • Beetle

    Is Pistorius a suicide risk? He appears to be religious.
    Religious belief in an afterlife offers an escape.

    Also a reason to deny bail?

  • Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Ozoneblue
    February 19, 2013 at 21:39 pm

    OB,

    #Agang has been bringing in money to destabilise our continent.

    Comrade Gwede and Comrade Jackson are onto her.

    They are smart.

    On the other hand the ANC has been getting money from China, Brother leader, Pol Pot, BAE, despots, war mongers to STABILISE South Africa.

    I hope it’s clear now!

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Maggs Naidu – Yikes, another seven years! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)
    February 19, 2013 at 22:56 pm

    LOL

    You forgot to mention the Mafia and the Guptas.

  • Zoo Keeper

    Spoiler

    As far as I know the SA system does indeed cater for the “emotional storm” defense.

  • http://www.ozoneblue.co.za/ Ozoneblue

    Zoo Keeper
    February 20, 2013 at 11:35 am

    It is hard to imagine, given the circumstances, this was a cold, calculated and premeditated act. If so, why would he sacrifice his future, his career, his legacy, everything by committing such a hideous self-incriminating act?

  • Zoo Keeper

    OB

    I’m withholding comment on his innocence or otherwise till the evidence is concluded.

    It does not appear to be a cold, calculated act, but on the other hand might have been a moment of madness in a fit of rage, and he’s trying to cover himself. On the other hand, maybe he actually did think she was a robber?

    The blood spatter, bullet trajectories and house layout will tell us a lot.

    Just because he had the world at his blades does not mean folks don’t do stupid things. Folks do plenty of wrong if they verily believe they will not get caught – see JZ as an illustration.

  • Brett Nortje

    Maggs, have you gone to http://www.beeld.com/ to vote?

    Wat sê jy?
    Is jy jammer vir Oscar Pistorius?
    Niks

  • Brett Nortje

    ZooKeeper, please try to listen to 702/Cape Talk tonight at 22:00….

  • Maggs Naidu -Shit happens! (maggsnaidu@hotmail.com)

    Brett Nortje
    February 20, 2013 at 18:04 pm

    Brett,

    I suppose that I do feel sadness that such a promising person has grown with such a “dark side”.

    But the real sadness is that women are so easily dispensable for so many.

    I feel sad too that you and others like you find comfort in being ready to kill other people.

  • Brett Nortje

    Hhhhmmmm!

    Are you saying you’re not the right guy to suggest quietly to Chris that he start with OBS?

    Chris (not the right wing guy!) says:
    February 20, 2013 at 10:38 am

    I’ve known Barry Roux professionally for more than 30 years, and if I’m charged with murder today I’ll run straight to him.

  • Nikki

    “I would not trust a jury of South African men and women to make decisions based on the facts instead of their own emotions and prejudices.”
    ———- I would not trust ANY jury – in any country! – not just South Africa.

  • William D. Chappell

    Good Luck convicting this one! LMAO In my observations and opinions Detective Bozo , the cursing sailor that blindly shot through a vehicle in an alleged drunken rage, and acquired 7 attempted murder charges (>a>l>m>o>s>t>… 7 murder charges), the same type shooting (blind shots through a door) will be real trustworthy on the stand when you throw in the fact that he was repeatedly bias, prejudicial on…EVERY ELEMENT OF THE CASE and seemingly “doing himself a favor” knowing ahead of time that the 7 attempted murder charges were in fact reinstated! As the media reported he was informed by another police officer that the charges were reinstated, a good chance that he manipulated evidence and we know he repeatedly made errors in his testimony of the crime scene. Now we have the fact that Honest Oscar, in submitting an affidavit could have come from spontaneous statements at the crime scene February 14, 2013 to the wild man of South Africa, in which he just plainly wanted to tell the truth and Pray For Forgiveness in the accidental killing. Even an affidavit (confession of facts) to certain elements of the alleged crime of Premeditated Murder on its face must be supported by corroborating evidence. Thus if you think you can sit in a trial against you and have a pre-convicted detective alleging fact of the elements and knowing his greasy paws have touched everything in and out of the home, there were phones, casing, guns, descriptions of the angle of the fired bullets, the battle over 600 feet vs. 300 feet in witnesses allegedly hearing arguments 2 hours prior, one casing found outside the bathroom three inside the bathroom was intended to raise questions and attention on the casing and placement of other items. Very professionally done, however, can his testimony really be trusted, we are talking about a trial by a Judge, so the Judge has the discretion as to whether [he] can hear the evidence? No offense intended, however, at such a critical point and decision should be handled by someone outside the discretion of the trial Court, does the Court say…well we are going to allow Detective so in so’s testimony because I feel he can contribute fair and impartial evidence…to the Court, while looking at the Prosecutor with a wink wink…remember me. This is called a Kangaroo Court anywhere else in the world. Yes a bail hearing lasting 5 days, yes, lets ask why did a bail hearing last 5 days? And now on the case on the verge of complete desolation? FAIR TRIAL? LETS HOPE SO

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  • terence grant

    Passerby,knowledge that the accused has previous convictions for a similar crime could lead the presiding-officer to conclude that the accused is guilty,and hence should be brought to the P-O attention only after guilt has been established .

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