The Oscar Pistorius (Media) Trial… and the bad taste it leaves


Firstly, let me say that I have not watched very much of the trial and I don’t watch a lot of the news in this country. I did read some of the stories about Reeva’s death when the story broke.

Secondly, I met this man. I was at Hardford House, a beautiful bed and breakfast in South Africa at the same time that he was.
I liked him the moment I met him. He is very handsome, he is very well spoken and he is very charming. He also has a very good sense of humour, which I know because his then girlfriend (not Reeva) was driving a rental car to meet him on the Saturday. She was in a white Mercedes Benz and she didn’t know how to properly activate the handbrake and the car rolled into the door of the chalet Pistorius was staying in. The only reason no serious damage was done, was because he ran at the car, dove into the driver’s side head first and activated the brakes as the car rolled down the stairs and into said chalet. My companion and I dashed over to his chalet–we had watched this event unfold from the pool of our neighbouring chalet–to make sure no one was hurt. He popped up out of the car, all smiles and took no credit, laughed it off and was thankful there was no real damage. Later that night we all shared some laughs as he cracked some jokes over a drink before dinner. 

Handsome, charming, humorous and fearless – what’s not to like?!

Granted, I did not get to know him well but I am intuitive and I believe that my first impression of him was an accurate one.
I thought then that he was a genuinely nice person. My opinion has not changed, however, even genuinely nice people make mistakes and I am not one of the people who believes he should be given leniency due to his celebrity status in the wake of Reeva’s death. Whether accidental or not, he shot her and he needs to pay the price for his actions. Cause and effect. Action and consequence. It’s simple.

People are asking the most ridiculous questions, like “Why was he on the internet on Valentines day?”, probably checking his Facebook, who actually cares and is that even remotely relevant?
What gets to me most is that there is an entire channel dedicated to this, South Africa’s ‘Trial of the century’.

I am of the opinion that he must go to jail. There is no question about it. A woman is dead as a direct result of his actions. No one but Oscar will ever know if he honestly knew that Reeva was in the bathroom behind that door. Let the evidence speak for itself and let’s please leave the media out of it.
Regardless of his celebrity status he deserves a fair trial, away from the prying eyes of the media and the ever judgemental and scandal hungry public. There are far more horrific crimes in this country that we neither care to know the details of nor desire to see broadcast on their own channel.

You can argue that he is a public figure and that as such the details of this case and his life are public property, but I find that argument rather empty and superficial and probably says more about your voyeuristic tendencies.
The people I feel for most in this situation, are Reeva’s family. The daughter they loved and cherished is about to posthumously have her life with Oscar and all it’s intimate details aired for all to pass judgement on and I find it distasteful.

We all saw what happened with the OJ Simpson trial, a media farce which became larger than life and all charges of which he was acquitted of. Would it have been any different had he had a media free trial? Who’s to say? Speculation and nothing more.

I guess the problem I have with this entire thing is our voracious appetite for details into other people’s lives. Are we really that bored with our own lives that we need to see into the intimate lives of others?
My attitude to gossip may be a direct result of being the fodder for school playground gossip and the long lasting effects it had on me.

I have a hard enough time reading actualities without also being exposed to the garbage in the tabloids. Imagine for a second that every single action you took and every mistake you made were being photographed, pulled apart, skewed and flagrantly displayed in magazines and in newspapers without those people knowing the first thing about you.

I hope that despite the media circus, Reeva’s memory is treated with respect, that Oscar is treated with respect and I hope that justice is done.

Let’s be more concerned with own lives and making a positive difference in the world we live in than passing judgement on people we don’t even know save for their achievements and public personas.

Thank you for reading.


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