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.



Protect Rhinoceros from Extinction

By: Palesa Matjebele

Rhinos are one of the most peaceful and very charismatic mega herbivores in the world, they are simply harmless big mammals one can ever find. Rhinos feast on greens such as grass and shrubs.

Over the past 50 million years ago, five species of Rhino have been living in the wild. Over 471 000 rhinos have been lost in just one century, leaving only less than 30 000 rhinos in the African wilds. Loss of habitat due to pollution and poaching are the main factors endangering the existence of the rhino specie and if no effort is made to protect the specie, possibly 84 years from now the rhino specie will follow the likes of Dodo.

There are myths regarding rhino horns; the myths influence rhino poaching as in some Chinese cultures, it is believed that horns can be used as some medical cure while some use them for high status gifts in Vietnam.

The money raised is much more helpful than one can ever think; if it was not for the fundraisings, Southern white rhino would not exist today. It only took few concerned wild lovers to bring the remaining 200 white rhinos together for a managed breeding, it is great to say that we now have over 20 500 white rhinos in total. Equal effort on the remaining rhino specie would be much appreciated, we may have lost the Northern white rhino specie but it is definitely not too late to save the remaining species.



By: Palesa Matjebele

Africa has always shown a united front before the Nations but all that changed with recent rife threatening what seemed to be a united Nation that encourages level of diversity at its max.

From back in the day when all of Africa stood together fighting for the Democracy of all Africans, specifically that of South Africa. Almost all African countries did invest in on the whole struggle with their blood, sweat and tears; taking in all the fellow Africans in their time of need. Helping with food, a safe place to lay on their heads and most of all with the resources needed to conquer the struggle for Equality and Majority leadership. All that seem to have transitioned to hatred amongst the once has been diverse Nation envied by all, boundaries of borders have been highlighted once more.

Some of the biggest game players in the Democratic South Africa feel betrayed by their fellow Africans whom they had confidence in after South African Citizens turned their backs on them, claiming that they are foreigners who pretty much steal everything from them while condemning the Society.

Amongst all that, there are claims of foreigners, specifically Nigerian dealing with drugs and trafficking of young girls instead of legally enriching the country. The One love seem to be fading bit by bit at the moment with all the gruesome attacks Africans exert amongst themselves, with foreigners being attacked anywhere in the country including in Churches which are considered to be the safest place to be.