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A Pistorius Affair

March 21, 2014

What amount of rage will make a person kill someone they love in cold blood? Someone they have spent nights on the same bed with and it some cases shared a greater part of their lives with? Is it passion? envy? jealousy? lust? What is it? Because I really don’t get it! At what point does your attachment like super glue to your partner cross the line and become deadly? I have been running my head through different possibilities and each time I do, nothing serious comes out of it, sadly.

The fatal shooting of South African Model and TV personality – Reeva Steenkamp by her boyfriend, the man they call the blade runner – Oscar Pistorius has been “the news” in the past days particularly as his trial commenced this month. Some people say lots of such incidents occur in South Africa daily and it never gets such publicity but hey, we are talking about a known celebrity so let’s leave that discussion for another day.

Oscar had been dating Reeva for several months when police got a call in the early hours of Valentine’s Day last year. When the police arrived, they found Ms. Steenkamp shot to death. Pistorius was carrying her body down the stairs. He was immediately arrested and the world awakened to the shocking news. Long story short, Oscar Pistorius was charged with the premeditated murder. He has never denied shooting her but claims it was accidental. That’s where the debate of premeditation v. manslaughter began.

He had said that he kept a nine-millimeter Parabellum under his bed for self-defense and that he had received death threats in the past. When he awoke in the early morning, he heard a sound from the bathroom. His prosthetic legs unattached, he grabbed his gun and fired three shots at the closed bathroom door. Realizing Reeva was not asleep in bed, he burst through the door and found her, apparently still alive but hit with the bullets. He called for an ambulance, then went back upstairs, picked her up and carried her down to the front door. She died soon after in his arms.

There are so many holes to pick in his defense – if you are in bed with your partner or “lover”, and there is an intruder, would it not be normal for you to first tap her or something and ask her to remain quiet while you check out who/what is making the noise? His claim of not wearing his prosthetic legs when he paneled the bathroom door seems at variance with the demonstration done in court. Maybe he was saying the truth but it doesn’t just add up.

As we all know by now, Oscar Pistorius was South Africa’s golden child. His against-all-odds success story was an inspiration for amputees, the physically disabled, and athletes in general. But storm clouds have gathered around his name, his legacy, and his fanship since Valentine’s Day, 2013, when he shot his girlfriend to death at his home. After a year of scandal, gossip, evidence, and anticipation his trial is underway. And people are now asking if he is the O.J. Simpson of South Africa? Did you know that there was an entire media network and channel created just to televise the trial? I hear that there’s an Irish bookie Paddy Power who had put up an ad offering to reimburse those who lose bets if Pistorius is deemed not guilt.

Whatever be the case, nobody will really truly know what happened that faithful night as the sun has already set on Reeva Steenkamp. In any case, even if she were here to tell her side of the story, it won’t make any difference. I always remind myself of the fact that people don’t really love – they get so attracted and fixated on the false pretense of shared moments that they forget everything else. Anyways, remember: there are always 3 sides to every story – his side, her side and of course, the truth!

I have said it before and let me repeat it again: I do not think that we human beings are capable of loving – we might like someone affectionately and be infatuated with them to the point that we convince ourselves that we are in love but I don’t think we can love. Because if you love someone, you will be helpless, hopeless and hapless; you will be so confused and unable to take any other action even when you know the person is not the one for you and has wronged you in the meanest of ways. Love does some strange things to you that you become a “mumu”. So many people use the word love so often that it has been bastardized. If you love, you cannot hate! Its that’s simple! A friend once told me to trust but verify always.

Importantly, we should all “love” with some degree of our sensibilities intact and be sensitive to these subtle changes when our heat of passion crosses the famous “red line”. That way you would be saving both families grief and not end up like Akolade Arowolo, the supposed youth pastor who was charged for the murder of his banker wife, Titilayo Omozoje in 2011 and was just recently sentenced  to death by a Lagos High Court here in Nigeria.

Finally, here is what I think: Oscar’s killing of Reeva was premeditated, thought-through, heartless and vicious but the sad part is that he will go scot free. Why? Because there are conflicting evidences that are for and against the case brought against him adn you cannot convict under circumstantial situations. However, he will not avoid going to jail for the illegal gun possession charges which many will say is a slap on the wrist. While we wait for Judge Thokozile Masipa of the Pretoria High Court to deliver the judgement, South Africa has to know that the world will be waiting to hear it…only time will tell if it’s the right one!

Credits – AFKI

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