FROM GOLDEN BOY TO THE IMMORAL MURDERER
Oscar Pistorius’s transition from the much loved perfect son of the nation to the murderer!
Written by: Palesa Matjebele
South Africa’s dreams were tarnished when the inspiring successful Blade Runner Oscar Pistorius shot his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp in the early hours of 14 February 2013, the model practically died for love on behalf of women being the day of St Valentine which is supposed to be a celebration of love.The athlete fired four shots through the locked bathroom door claiming to have mistaken her for an intruder in his upmarket suburban Pretoria home.
The statement was less convincing considering the upmarket’s tight security which is unlikely to be invaded by intruders and neighbours heard arguments between the two prior to the incident where there was a woman’s scream and the theory was supported by message conversations ‘’There were thousand examined messages sent between Steenkamp and Pistorius,of which 90 per cent showed a ‘loving normal’relationship.However,a small number portrayed Pistorius as a controlling and jealous boyfriend,’’in one message sent just few weeks prior to her death,Steenkamp wrote: ‘’I am scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you will react to me,’’ these facts were brought forward by the Police IT expert Captain Francois Moller.
Apart from all that,there was no motive and the two were smitten,Steenkamp even wrote a card for Pistorius as a gesture declaring the undying love.Before the incident both had promising future considering their growing careers in the spotlight,Reeva was a rising model while Oscar was a successful athlete with no sign of slowing down making them one of the ‘’It couple’’ of Mzansi with fame and money,Pistorius getting over US$2 million every year in sponsorship.
The athlete was a perfect definition of determination and perseverance,his disability of being born with Fibular Hemimelia whereas he lacked fibulas in both legs and had to have his legs amputated halfway between knees and ankles at a tender age of 11 months never dimmed his shine.
After the death of the rising model a lot of skeletons came to light,apparentely the perfect guy had some anger issues that were turned a blind eye on when he got angry and shouted at the officials after the Brazilian Athlete won a race in the Olympics,which spoke volumes even though he later apologised.The athlete was too comfortable with guns growing up in a household full of firearms and a mother who slept with a gun for protection,that he once pulled-out one and even threatened to shoot at someone in a public area.During trial there were claims that he may be suffering from psychological problems after losing his major source of influence,his mother in teenage years,which could have led to him being impulse.
Pistorius expressed remorse through-out trial and even offered the Steenkamp’s monthly allowance,leading to speculations of buying the family’s forgiveness but that could have also been a result of remorse and Pistorius was genuinely helping the family get by.The trial took quite an emotional journey,the athlete sobbed and vomited after seeing Reeva’s pictures from the crime scene while Reeva’s parents got very upset when Pistorius was initially charged with 5-year jail sentence for manslaughter and 3-year firearm suspension,of which he only spent 10 months in prison after he was considered eligible for release and put on house arrest under correctional supervision given to offenders not deemed as danger to the society.
Reeva’s family felt otherwise and wrote to the parole board arguing them not to release Pistorius earlier. ‘’I don’t think that it’s a good idea to let him back in the society so quickly.He shot my daughter through that door where she had no space to move or defend herself,one of the bullets blew her brains out.It is disgusting what he did to her -10 months is just not enough,’’ emphasised June Steenkamp. Reeva’s cousin Kim Martens stated that Pistorius changed his version so many times and it is still not clear as to how he fired into the bathroom door that Steenkamp was standing behind even though it could have been as a result of shock and confusion as explained by his legal team.
The verdict was appealed and saw another court battle after the case was overturned to murder,Pistorius was found guilty but sentenced 6 years which according to NPA was ‘’shockingly lenient’’; and just before passing the sentence everyone expected nothing less than 15 years imprisonment especially when Judge Thokozile Masipa explained that the sentence had to be proportional considering the justice in the nature of the case and further supported the verdict by stating that a long term imprisonment will not serve justice in the matter considering the mitigating factors outweighing the aggravating factors.
City Press reported that Pistorius attempted suicide and was rushed to Kalafong Hospital after sustaining severe wrist injuries in his prison cell where razor blades were found but his brother Carl deemed the reports tweeting ‘’He slipped in his cell and injured himself,nothing serious.’’ Pistorius’s lawyer is currently appealing the state sentence;a lot really changed in a coarse of one day,a daughter’s life cut-short and two family lives forever changed with a couple forever separated tragic death.