Oscar Pistorius sentencing cartoon

Oscar Pistorius gets off with a slap on the wrist for killing Reeva Steenkamp

5 takeaways from the Oscar Pistorius trial

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 matter

Oscar Pistorius Gunrunner book

This book has since been withdrawn from Amazon

No 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 expert

Oscar Pistorius expert

Certified Oscar Pistorius Expert

Whether 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

Man shooting gun photo

Killing is petty crime

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 crime

Womens Rights logo

All crimes involving women ONLY happen because the victim is female… Duh!

Opportunistic 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 free

South Africa rands

Sometimes it really is all you need!

One 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.

What best represents your view on Oscar's sentence - check up to 3 that are applicable:

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

COMMENT on Oscar Pistorius’s trial and sentencing.

wonkie text divider

Kineosho Pre-Launch image

Buy lottery ticket online image

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.

South Africa Online Casino logo

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!

* * *

Related articles on crime in South Africa, and Oscar Pistorius:

  1. Oscar Pistorius trial – is this a joke?
  2. Corruption in South Africa

COMMENT on Oscar Pistorius’s trial and sentencing.

Bleh!2 Stars3 Stars4 StarsAwesome! (2 raters, Click a star a star to rate this article)


  1. a-maize-ingly corny says

    10 months in a private (prison) hospital room – perhaps the isolation will change it into a psychiatric (prison) hospital room.
    Then 4 years and two months of “house arrest” – maybe Winnie can give him some pointers on how to survive (or is it subvert?) that!
    Let’s not forget Stompie! and the huge sentence Winnie got for THAT one!
    And let us also not forget Shabby Shakes! Another who had private (prison) hospital facilities and then got out!

  2. Tony Wraith says


  3. Colin Murray says

    He should have rather have been given house arrest as far as I’m concerned he is not guilty of anything apart from being well known as a sportsman which sells news papers, TV and what ever else. His trial was dragged out costing him a huge sum while the media make millions which was totally unfair.

    • So basically you are suggesting that there should be no consequences to shooting and killing someone unless you can prove there was intent?

  4. You probably won’t print what I want to say about OP so let’s just stay with my other 2 comments.

  5. No justice at all. Money, money, money! And a stupid, over-cautious judge. In late 70’s, I received a 5 year sentence – suspended, three years – being in possession o 1 tiny gram o mariawana! Spent that Easter weekend in a cell in John Vorster Square…and smoked more weed – supplied by the wardens – than I had in the previous six weeks. My attorney – who represented Shaik Shabir years later – celebrated my ‘release’ with me, by smoking a hash pipe when i was acquitted…I LOST ALL RESPECT re THE LAW. It’s a joke!!!

    • a-maize-ingly corny says

      Mario, you must not lose respect for the LAW – the LAW is definitely NOT a joke.
      As to those who WORK the law – lawyers, judges, Police etc., the way they “work” the law makes a mockery of the whole system.
      So don’t disrespect the law – disrespect those people who show their disdain for it by working “in it” but also working against it!

    • If you can’t beat ’em, then join ’em! That appears to be a top-down strategy from the highest echelons of government, let alone the law.

  6. I was wondering when you were going to put your tickey’s worth in, Wonkie.
    I agree with your observations exactly. He is a moron and we have to look after our morons, they are special

  7. a-maize-ingly corny says

    To quote your third “takeaway” (at least in part):
    “… 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… … … if a paranoid moron shoots someone … a slap on the wrist is sufficient punishment.”
    Mario will, I am sure, be wondering if OP’s killing of Reeva, without witnesses, results in a slap on the wrist, why do Police Officers get away with killing a Mozambican man ON CAMERA in the streets of Jo’burg?
    Now the cynic comments: Both stories made World News but OP is a celebrity and the POs aren’t, so the Ineptocracy governing our lives thinks that the Police action will be quickly forgotten if nobody makes a fuss – and the man’s widow was certainly a “nobody”!

    • I rest my case and have no right to judge. Not OP or the Judge!! I have seen more corpses than the average person has seen a sunrise. OP’s could have been a ‘crime o passion’; or murder. I lost a sister (1981)- a year older than me – who was beaten to death by a lover, whose dad was commander at the Muizenberg Police Station, Cape Town. He was released on bail and the cause o death was: Asthma attack!! He committed suicide – by hanging – a coupla months later in Midrand.

    • You’ve got it wrong again corny… That killing was clearly an accident. The police driving the van were trying to be efficient and process him as quickly as possible. The police behind the van watching the Mozambican getting dragged to death were desperately trying to get him into the vehicle of the overzealous driver. An honest mistake that could have happened to anyone. Wonkie puts it to you… Just try proving otherwise.

      • a-maize-ingly corny says

        Just WHEN did you guys become apologists for the ineptocratic gang of sinners that we call “the Government”? Or have they recently hired you as “spin doctors”?
        You have often taken the rôle of “devil’s advocates” but this is taking it to HELL and gone!
        Perhaps Out-of-Africa has it right after all – the LAW (as in the group of people who “work” the law) IS an ass! Any judge believing YOUR version would have to be donkey-shaped.

        • A-maize-ingly corny, I think Wonkie’s comment on your comment, was tongue in the cheek and not their serious opinion.

          • a-maize-ingly corny says

            Of course! they like to tease me and I like to tease them back. But in all seriousness, the line they gave was the “official” Police line and the Police virtually dared anyone to prove them wrong. I feel quite confident that Pratish and Sizwe and the others at Wonkie are most definitely NOT blind to the lies – oops I mean the exaggerations of the truth – “shared” with us by the very expensive spin-doctors that the “guvnmint” keeps handy for times like this.
            After all, they are intelligent humans beans – just like you and me.

  8. Oscar Pistorius never got exactly what he deserved as a killer, he has no morals and human mind….

  9. Simon Fourie says

    Does anyone on this earth, besides the judge and the sickly fawning sister, believe his story?

    • Unfortunately the law needs one to prove that his story, no matter how bizarre, cannot possibly be true. We desperately need to find that fly on the wall that evening and get it to talk.

  10. Mario Matthews says

    Conclusion: An oscar for Nel and for Roux the advocates, and also for the judge, the focus were on them. Nel will bounce back and appeal again, another oscar for him. After 3 months everything is forgotten, till something serious happen again to a well known person.
    We sitting next to each other, screeming and shouting and supporting Bafana Bafana, the Springboks and Proteas, but afterwards go out and kill somebody for a cellphone ?

    The persons that walked out of this trial of Oscar with respect was Reevas parents, excepting the verdict, I salute you. Forgiveness is the key word and do what God expect you to do. But the question is what are we going to do about crime in our beloved country ? I have the feeling we going to land up as the rest of Africa or am I wrong. Please God help us for the sake of our children, please help us , I’m worried about the future of my children. Amen.

  11. Many South Africans proved that they believed that they were more capable of judging the merits of the case than the judge and her assessors were. Possibly racist in origin.
    Many were vindictive and right from the start of the trial had decided that Oscar was guilty and deserved the death sentence. failing which 20 years incarceration would have sufficed under South African court’s propensity to give extremely light sentences for rape and cable theft (also mainly for racist reasons).
    The judge gave her verdict and even the NPA and Gerrie Nel have little right to challenge it especially since the police compromised the scene and essential evidence might have been lost.

  12. Chris Allan says

    I feel the judge is mistaken with the verdict, Oscar was aware that he could kill someone behind that door and he was under no direct threat. Weather or he knew it was Reeva behind the door is beside the point, he used unnecessary deadly force whilst knowing there was someone behind the door, that makes it murder

  13. Hello,

    the deed was bad, it was wrong, it caused pains to many and the deed took out a rising star with so much potentials. Now, is the period of reformation, rehabilitation and most importantly, forgiveness and reconciliation. And this could happen if the right environment is created. An environment where Oscar sees from the bottom of his heart, that what he did was wicked and he is genuinely sorry about it. The family of Reeva, should be ready to forgive and let go, yes I know it’s extremely difficult, but there’s nothing God Almighty can not do. Oscar could still be a positive gift to a model of ‘Going from bad to good’, so let’s give the process a chance.

  14. Murder….requires intention, Oscar intended to kill, maybe he did not know that Reeva was his target but lack of knowledge of your victims identity does not mitigate. Someone was his target and his intention extended to that person. He is guilty…he is not a racist he is just stupid….but then handing out proper sentences for murder in South Africa is probably a breach of the killers human rights….?


  1. […] the very least a punishment significantly harsher than anything South Africans could have wished on Oscar Pistorius for murdering his […]

Speak Your Mind