The Oscar Pistorius Trial – The two sides of the coin


By Oliver Ngwenya    09-Mar-2014 21:21 UTC+02:00
oscar-pistorious-and-reeva-steenkamp

Image: fitwithfallon.com

The Oscar Pistorius trial has really got the world’s attention with a lot being said by different persons depending on their standpoint. Of particular interest is the fact that not many of these opinions are formed from facts of the case but mainly from preconceived standpoints. What follows is the two legal standpoints that both sides in the case are trying to make the world believe is what happened on the dawn of Valentines day in 2013.

Prosecution

The prosecution seeks to prove to the court that Oscar killed his girlfriend on that fateful morning. It is sometimes referred to as the state’s case. This is what happened according to them:

Oscar and Reeva had a heated argument in the early hours of that morning. The lights in the upstairs bedroom were off. They contend that as a result of this argument, Reeva retreated to the bathroom to escape from ‘an angry’ Oscar. She then proceeded to lock the bathroom door behind her. Apparently in his angry state, Oscar grabbed for his gun from under the bed knowing fully well that Reeva was not in bed. He then proceeded to put on his prosthetic legs, an act which the prosecution believes shows that the murder was premeditated.

Oscar then went on to fire two shots at the bathroom door. At this point, the prosecution emphasizes that the trajectory of the bullets show that when he fired the bullets, Oscar was wearing his prosthetic legs and not as he contends that he rushed into the bathroom legless. It was at this point that he then went into the bathroom, found Reeva slumped over and proceeded to carry her downstairs. When police arrived, they found Reeva in shorts and a vest, showing that she could not have gone into the bathroom to relieve herself but rather to escape an angry Oscar.

Defense

The defense team, as the name suggests, aims to defend Oscar and make the court see that Oscar did not kill Reeva intentionally. The following is their argument as to what happened on that dark dawn:

According to them, Oscar, who sleeps without his prosthetics, woke up in the early hours of that morning and proceeded to the balcony to retrieve a fan without switching on the light. While he was in the process of retrieving the fan, he heard a noise in the bathroom and thought that a burglar was in the house. He grabbed his gun and rushed to the bathroom on his stumps. Assuming that Reeva was still in bed, he called on her to call the police and started shouting at he person that was in the bathroom.

While this was happening, he noted that the outside bathroom window was open and figured that that was how the intruder had gained access. Convinced then that an intruder was in the bathroom, he fired four shots at the door while still shouting to Reeva to call the police.When he did not get a response, he went to the bed where he discovered that his girlfriend was not in bed. He then went to the bathroom and tried the door which he realised was locked, then he rushed to the balcony where he called for help. From the balcony, he went to the bed and put on his prosthetics then rushed and tried to kick down the door.

The defense argue that it is at this time that he switched on the lights. Having failed to kick down the door, Oscar then used a bat to break down the door. That is when he saw Reeva slumped over in the bathroom from where he carried her downstairs. The defense focuses on the fact that when she was found, her bladder was empty, showing that she had gone into the bathroom to relieve herself and not to escape Oscar as the prosecution contends.

As the trial continues, time will only tell which side will be able to convince the judge as to what really transpired on that fateful Thursday morning.


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  1. Meerkat says:

    Lawyers are good liars.

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