Oscar Pistorius, the famous South African athlete who ran in both the Paralympics and the able-bodied Olympics, was sentenced to 5 years in jail last week. Judge Thokozile Masipa, in sentencing Pistorius for culpable homicide, ended an epic, televised saga spanning months.
“As the crowds and cameras drift away from the courthouse, what lingers is the sense of waste. Of lives and careers for sure. But of time too.”
… Andrew Harding of the BBC sums it up nicely.
Wonkie decided to put together a brief lessons learnt post to support ardent trial viewers to recover from what likely feels like an unfulfilling, anti-climactic waste. Below are some of the deeper takeaways from the trial:
1. Everything can be a laughing matterNo matter how dire the situation, you can count on somebody to find a funny and usually inappropriate angle to it.
It happened with the famine in Ethiopia: e.g. with the famine reaching crisis levels in Ethiopia, a family decided to search the web for dinner. Luckily for them, there were still two flies and a spider left. It happened with Oscar, who got demoted from being the infamous bladerunner to a paranoid gunrunner.
No doubt, a slew of jokes about Oscar in prison will do their rounds shortly. The first one Wonkie came across was:
Sigh… isn’t it funny how things change. Last year Oscar Pistorius was concerned about entering further races. Now that he’s going to prison, he’s probably more concerned about other races entering him.
2. Everybody is an expertWhether it’s on subjective matters such as Oscar’s state of mind, or on even more subjective matters such as the interpretation of South African law, everybody seemed to become experts.
For one, they knew exactly how any rational person would behave in Oscar’s situation (e.g. the first thing anybody would do if they felt threatened is to check where their partner is). Clearly these experts don’t watch enough Steven Seagal movies to help balance their judgment.
Secondly, they also unequivocally knew what is an unsound interpretation of the law (e.g. that judge, she got it wrong). Usually their expertise comes to the fore along with their disagreement with the verdict, or dismay by the sentencing.
3. Killing is a misdemeanour in South Africa
A moron is defined by the Oxford dictionary as “a stupid person”. Stupid, in turn, is defined as “lacking intelligence or common sense”. Since nobody except Oscar, and the fly on his wall that night, knows what really happened the court could quite rightly not support a judgment of murder (see, even Wonkie is no exception to point 2 above).
Oscar’s defence which essentially consisted of establishing that he is a paranoid moron held its own since Gerrie Nel, as tenacious as he was, could not provide any evidence to the contrary. It turns out that if a paranoid moron shoots someone a few times through a closed toilet door in South Africa, a slap on the wrist is sufficient punishment. Oscar was given a 5 year prison sentence for culpable homicide and Wonkie expects he is likely to be out on some form of house arrest within a year.
4. If a female is involved, it must be a gender crimeOpportunistic groups were quick to turn the trial into a gender issue. Groups like the ANC Women’s League (ANCWL), moronically supported Reeva and her family as, being the experts that they are, immediately deemed the situation as being a natural extension of spousal abuse.
Wonkie is definitely not down-playing the serious issue of crimes against women in South Africa. This, however, is certainly a case of what happens when you let a moron loose with a gun, rather than a clear cut case of female victimisation. But, since Reeva was absolutely and gorgeously female, it was apparently a no-brainer to some that she was killed only because she was female.
Luckily for world, Reeva wasn’t black otherwise the trial would have no doubt been hinged on some ridiculous racial issue.
5. Sometimes, money can set you freeOne can only imagine what might have happened if Oscar was not a loaded celebrity and could not have afforded the services of heavyweight defence lawyer Barry Roux and a super-slick PR team. For one thing, the trial would have probably only lasted 2 weeks and yielded an identical outcome.
Even in the sentencing, the effects of privilege can be felt. Needless to say, Oscar won’t be rolling around with the prison gen-pop – he will be housed in a private cell in the hospital wing of Pretoria’s Kgosi Mampuru prison. After all, murder or not, he has suffered such emotional trauma and that alone should be considered punishment enough for taking a life.
Do take part in the poll below and feel free to let Wonkie know your thoughts about the Oscar Pistorius trial and sentence.
If getting away with murder is par for the course in South Africa and this does not sit well with you, perhaps now is the time to purchase that long-awaited international lottery ticket online – like for Oscar, a few bucks in the bank could be all you need to buy your own freedom from crime.
Unfortunately, the odds of Joe Schmoe being able to afford the likes of Barry Roux is miniscule. Perhaps a more realistic option than buying lottery tickets online would be to try your hand at one of many South African online casino options or to check out Wonkie’s very own best South African online casino list that has been recently updated.
International Wonkie readers, particularly those based in India, are no doubt accustomed to such disappointing legal outcomes and are wondering what the big deal is about Oscar. If that’s you then you should probably check out this reputable Indian Rupee casino website instead!
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