Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Pictorious Granted Bail

Reeva Steenkamp
After two tense hours this morning the Olympic and Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorious has been granted bail in a South African court in the shooting death of his aspiring model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Even though the presiding Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair stated that he had a lot of problems with Oscar Pictorious' account of the events of that fateful night, he did not see him as a flight risk because of his international face and name recognition.

Pistorious, a double amputee who had caused much controversy by being allowed to run on a special set of prosthetic legs at the past Summer Olympics in London, had shot his 21 year old lawyer and aspiring model girlfriend four times through a closed bathroom door, claiming that he thought an intruder had been in the house.
Happier Times

Due to South Africa's high crime rate, most affluent citizens are allowed to own guns for self protection. A country with a history of racial tensions and past racial injustice, a lot of people in the country have turned to crime in a society defined by high income disparities that have not improved with the end of apartheid, the system of rule characterized by the domination and exclusion from power of the black majority by the white minority. Apartheid came to an end with the election of Nelson Madiba Mandela as President, after more than a quarter of a century in jail. Mandela's successors have been major disappointments, unable to lift the black population out of poverty, with the current President Jacob Zuma, known more for his serial womanizing than effective leadership.

Pistorious account of the incident was that very late in the night of February 14, 2013, he had heard some noise emanating from his bathroom as he closed the door of his balcony. He claimed that he felt his life was in danger and since he did not have his prosthetic legs on, he felt a sense of increased vulnerability. He then took a gun from under his bed and fired four times through the close bathroom door. He had shouted for his girlfriend whose location he did not verify, to call the police. It was only when he had broken the door down that he realized he had fatally shot his girlfriend multiple times.
Better Days

Prosecutors roundly rejected Pistorious' version of the events claiming that the holster of the gun was discovered on SteenKamps side of their bed, making it highly improbable that he would not have known that she was not there. Prosecutors also questioned Oscar's assertion that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs, due to the angle of the shots that were downward, indicating he had been standing high when the shots were fired.

The Segbwema blog correspondent in the court room stated that there was a small applause from people close to Oscar when the decision to grant bail was announced, but the court was mostly quiet. Magistrate Nair said that the prosecution has made a strong case and said that he had difficulty comprehending why Pistorious did not ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend or call out to know who was in the bathroom before releasing the volley of rounds. Oscar was released on the condition that he pay a  hefty bail fine, he is to report every two weeks to authorities, he should not go to the house of the incident and he is to abstain from drugs and Alcohol. Random drug and alcohol tests will be conducted
The Blade Runner

Oscar earns millions of dollars annually from endorsements has lost most of his corporate sponsors like Nike and is going to face substantial financial losses in addition to potentially spending the rest of his life behind bars. Pistorious runs on a specially designed set of runner blades and has come to be widely known around the world as "The Blade Runner"

In a bizarre twist, the chief prosecutor of the case was removed because he is also facing multiple counts of murder.

Sheku Sheriff
Segbwema Blogger

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