Tag Archives: Reeva Steenkamp

Oscar Pistorius due back in court

South Africa Pistorius Trial

The murder trial of fallen South African Olympian Oscar Pistorius resumes on Thursday for closing arguments after months of gripping testimony that captured the world’s attention.

It will be a final showdown between two of the country’s top legal minds: defence lawyer Barry Roux, and senior state prosecutor Gerrie Nel, nicknamed “Bulldog” because of his brutal style of questioning.

The hearing is set down for two days before Judge Thokozile Masipa, who is then expected to adjourn the case for a couple of weeks before delivering her verdict. South Africa does not have trial by jury.

Pistorius, 27, is charged with murdering his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on the night of Valentine’s Day last year.

The double amputee athlete, known as the “Blade Runner” for his prosthetic limbs, claims he mistakenly shot Steenkamp through a locked toilet door, believing she was an intruder in his upmarket Pretoria home.

Prosecutors argue that Pistorius deliberately killed the 29-year old law graduate, who had been his girlfriend for three months, after an argument.

If convicted on the main charge of premeditated murder, the sprinter faces a minimum of 25 years in jail.

The trial resumes after a month-long break, during which Pistorius – who is on bail – was involved in a bar scuffle in a Johannesburg nightclub.

Pistorius was sent by the court for 30 days psychiatric observation after a defence witness testified that he suffered from “generalised anxiety disorder”.

A panel of mental health experts found that he did not suffer from a mental disorder when he shot Steenkamp and could be held criminally responsible for his actions.

– See more at: http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2014/08/06/oscar-pistorius-due-back-in-court.html#sthash.4L6lnRLf.dpuf

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Oscar Pistorius trial moves into final phase

OP and Roux

The murder trial of South African sprinter Oscar Pistorius is moving the trial into its final phase, with the prosecution submitting a summary of its case.

The prosecution in the murder trial of South African Olympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius is to submit a summary of its arguments to the judge, moving the trial into its final phase.

The handover of the documents will take place behind closed doors on Wednesday.

Pistorius’ defence team will follow the same procedure on August 4.

The 27-year-old double-amputee athlete has been on trial since March 3 on charges of the premeditated murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, a 29-year-old model.

A total of 36 people testified over 39 days.

The defence and prosecution will publicly present their closing arguments on August 7 and 8, after which Judge Thokozile Masipa will issue her verdict.

There is no trial by jury in South Africa, so Masipa alone will decide Pistorius’ fate.

Pistorius shot Steenkamp through a closed bathroom door in his home in the capital Pretoria on Valentine’s Day last year. Pistorius says he took her for an intruder.

The sprinter, whose legs were amputated at the knee as an infant because of a congenital abnormality, became the first amputee to compete against able-bodied athletes in the 2012 London Olympics.

If found guilty of premeditated murder, he could face a life sentence of at least 25 years in prison.

Source: http://www.sbs.com.au/

Oscar Pistorius bail affidavit 19/2/13

Oscar Pistorius Bail application statement

19 February 2013.

I am the Applicant in this application in which I seek relief from this Honourable Court to be released on bail. I respectfully submit, as I will demonstrate herein, that the interests of justice permit my release on bail. In any event, the dictates of fairness and justice in view of the peculiar facts herein warrant that I should not be deprived of my liberty and that I should be released on bail.

I make this affidavit of my own free will and have not in any way been unduly influenced to depose thereto.

The facts herein contained, save where expressly indicated to the contrary, are within my personal knowledge and belief, and are both true and correct.

The purpose of this affidavit is to provide the above Honourable Court with my personal circumstances and to address the allegations leveled against me (in so far as they are known to me), as well as to address the factors to be considered by the above Honorable Court as contained in Sections 60(4) to 60(9) of the Act.

I have been advised and I understand that I bear the burden to show that the interests of justice permit my release and that I am obliged to initiate this application. I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp (“Reeva”). However, I will put factors before the Honourable Court to show that it is in the interests of justice to permit my release on bail.

I state that the State will not be able to present any objective facts that I committed a planned or premeditated murder. For this reason I will hereunder deal with the events which occurred that evening. The objective facts will not refute my version as it is the truth.
I am a professional athlete and reside at [address redacted].

I was born on 22 November 1986, at Johannesburg. I have resided in the Republic of South Africa (“the RSA”) all my life, and although I frequently travel abroad to participate in international sporting events, I regard South Africa as my permanent place of abode. I have no intention to relocate to any other country, as I love my country.

I own immovable assets in South Africa, which consist of the following:

The immovable property in which I currently reside, at [address redacted] (“the residential premises”). This property is valued at approximately R5 million and is encumbered by a mortgage bond in the amount of approximately R2 million.

Two further immovable properties located within Weeping Willow Estates, Pretoria East, which properties have a combined value of approximately R1,6 million. Both properties are bonded to an aggregate value of approximately R1 million.

A vacant stand in Langebaan, Western Cape, which has a value of approximately R1,7 million. This property is not bonded.
I own movable assets comprised of household furniture and effects, motor vehicles and jewellery, which are valued in excess of R500,000,00.

My friends and family reside in the RSA, although I also have friends abroad.

My professional occupation currently provides me with an income of approximately R5,6 million per annum.

I have cash investments in excess of R1 million at various banks within the RSA.

I have never been convicted of any criminal offences either in the RSA or elsewhere. There are no outstanding cases, other than the present, being investigated against me by the South African Police Services (“SAPS”).

My legal representatives have explained the provisions of Section 60(11) of the Act to me. I respectfully make the following submissions in this regard:

I have been informed that I am accused of having committed the offence of murder. I deny the aforesaid allegation in the strongest terms.

I am advised that I do not have to deal with the merits of the case for purposes of the bail application. However, I believe that it is appropriate to deal with the merits in this application, particularly in view of the State’s contention that I planned to murder Reeva. Nothing can be further from the truth and I have no doubt that it is not possible for the State to present objective facts to substantiate such an allegation, as there is no substance in the allegation. I do not know on what different facts the allegation of a premeditated murder could be premised and I respectfully request the State to furnish me with such alleged facts in order to allow me to refute such allegations.

On the 13th of February 2013 Reeva would have gone out with her friends and I with my friends. Reeva then called me and asked that we rather spend the evening at home. I agreed and we were content to have a quiet dinner together at home. By about 22h00 on 13 February 2013 we were in our bedroom. She was doing her yoga exercises and I was in bed watching television. My prosthetic legs were off. We were deeply in love and I could not be happier. I know she felt the same way. She had given me a present for Valentine’s Day but asked me only to open it the next day

 

After Reeva finished her yoga exercises she got into bed and we both fell asleep.

I am acutely aware of violent crime being committed by intruders entering homes with a view to commit crime, including violent crime. I have received death threats before. I have also been a victim of violence and of burglaries before. For that reason I kept my firearm, a 9 mm Parabellum, underneath my bed when I went to bed at night.

During the early morning hours of 14 February 2013, I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and the curtains. I heard a noise in the bathroom and realised that someone was in the bathroom.

I felt a sense of terror rushing over me. There are no burglar bars across the bathroom window and I knew that contractors who worked at my house had left the ladders outside. Although I did not have my prosthetic legs on I have mobility on my stumps.

I believed that someone had entered my house. I was too scared to switch a light on.

I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.

I noticed that the bathroom window was open. I realised that the intruder/s was/were in the toilet because the toilet door was closed and I did not see anyone in the bathroom. I heard movement inside the toilet. The toilet is inside the bathroom and has a separate door.

It filled me with horror and fear of an intruder or intruders being inside the toilet. I thought he or they must have entered through the unprotected window. As I did not have my prosthetic legs on and felt extremely vulnerable, I knew I had to protect Reeva and myself. I believed that when the intruder/s came out of the toilet we would be in grave danger. I felt trapped as my bedroom door was locked and I have limited mobility on my stumps.

I fired shots at the toilet door and shouted to Reeva to phone the police. She did not respond and I moved backwards out of the bathroom, keeping my eyes on the bathroom entrance. Everything was pitch dark in the bedroom and I was still too scared to switch on a light. Reeva was not responding.

When I reached the bed, I realised that Reeva was not in bed. That is when it dawned on me that it could have been Reeva who was in the toilet. I returned to the bathroom calling her name. I tried to open the toilet door but it was locked. I rushed back into the bedroom and opened the sliding door exiting onto the balcony and screamed for help.

I put on my prosthetic legs, ran back to the bathroom and tried to kick the toilet door open. I think I must then have turned on the lights. I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door. Reeva was slumped over but alive.

I battled to get her out of the toilet and pulled her into the bathroom. I phoned Johan Stander (“Stander”) who was involved in the administration of the estate and asked him to phone the ambulance. I phoned Netcare and asked for help. I went downstairs to open the front door.

I returned to the bathroom and picked Reeva up as I had been told not to wait for the paramedics, but to take her to hospital. I carried her downstairs in order to take her to the hospital. On my way down Stander arrived. A doctor who lives in the complex also arrived. Downstairs, I tried to render the assistance to Reeva that I could, but she died in my arms.

I am absolutely mortified by the events and the devastating loss of my beloved Reeva. With the benefit of hindsight I believe that Reeva went to the toilet when I went out on the balcony to bring the fan in. I cannot bear to think of the suffering I have caused her and her family, knowing how much she was loved. I also know that the events of that tragic night were as I have described them and that in due course I have no doubt the police and expert investigators will bear this out.

I will stand my trial should it proceed against me. I am a well-known international athlete and there is no possibility that I will even think of not standing my trial should there be one. I trust the South African legal system and that the facts will show that I did not murder Reeva.

In order to persuade the above Honourable Court that I should be released on bail, I provide the following additional facts and information in terms of Section 60 of the Act.

I do not know the identity of any witness upon whom the State will rely in order to attempt to prove a case against me. In any event, I have no intention to interfere with any witnesses as I have no cause to do so and I undertake not to do so.

I maintain good relationships with people and I bear no grudges against anyone.

As previously stated, I have no previous convictions and I have not been released on bail pending any charges.

I am not disposed to violence.

I respectfully submit that the facts set out above support my contention that I do not constitute a flight risk.

I have two South African passports, the one is full. I need my passport to compete overseas but I am willing to surrender the passports to the investigating officer should it be a condition of bail. I am not in possession of any other travel documents and undertake not to apply for such documentation pending the finalisation of these proceedings.

After the shooting I did not attempt to flee. Rather, I accepted Stander would contact the police, and I remained at the scene.
I will be able to raise an appropriate amount to post as bail.

I have no knowledge of any evidentiary material which may exist with regard to the allegations levelled against me. In any event, I believe that whatever such evidence may be, it is in the possession of the police; it is safely secured and I do not have access thereto. I undertake not to interfere with any further investigations.

I am not sure which witnesses the State will rely upon in order to attempt to prove its case against me. Nonetheless, I undertake not to communicate with any witness, whoever he or she may be, and any other persons whose names may appear on a list of “State witnesses”, to be provided by the State.

My continued incarceration can only prejudice me and creates no benefit to the State.

I respectfully submit that should I be released on bail, my release shall not disturb the public order or undermine the proper functioning of the criminal justice system.

I will comply with such conditions as the above Honourable Court may wish to impose.

I accordingly submit that the interests of justice, considerations of prejudice and the balancing of respective interests favour my release on bail.

Credits: http://phil51089.wordpress.com/2014/05/18/oscar-pistorius-bail-affidavit-19213/

Oscar Pistorius – Anxious or angry ?

reeva

NEARLY at the end of his murder trial, doubt is being cast on Paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s state of mental health. A forensic psychiatrist, Dr. Meryl Vorster, has diagnosed Pistorius with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD).

Today, under pressure from prosecutor Gerrie Nel who wants to establish the truth about Pistorius’s sanity and whether his lawyers are using GAD as a “fall-back defence”, Judge Thokozile Masipa ruled that he should be admitted to a psychiatric hospital for independent assessment. Because the testing will take 30 days, and it will need to be scheduled, this could mean a lengthy break in the court case.

Pistorius’s trial has already been going on for two months. Why is his state of mind being questioned now on the brink of a verdict? What is GAD? And does Pistorius in fact display symptoms of GAD?

Vorster’s evidence was requested by Pistorius’s defence, presumably to mitigate a verdict of guilty. GAD is not classed as a mental illness in SA, but Vorster claims it would have made Pistorius paranoid about security and it would have affected his ability to judge the “wrongfulness” of shooting without seeing his target. “People with generalised anxiety probably shouldn’t have firearms,” she added.

GAD is a relatively new diagnostic category that first appeared on the scene in 2000. As its title implies, it is a catch-all category that classifies people suffering from a range of anxieties. It is no surprise that it is the most common cause of disability in the workplace in the USA because it covers every conceivable symptom of anxiety.

The principal symptoms listed for GAD are:

  • Sense of dread
  • Restlessness
  • Feeling constantly “on edge”
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance.

The GAD sufferer has chronic and exaggerated worry and tension that leads to lack of self-esteem, social withdrawal, and work difficulties. The GAD sufferer also typically anticipates disaster.

Is this Pistorius? And, more importantly, was this Pistorius at the time of Reeva Steenkamp’s murder? Or in the past?

It goes without saying that, guilty or not guilty, being accused of the murder of one’s girlfriend would make even the most innocent and level-headed defendant anxious. Perhaps especially so in the case of Pistorius whose overriding ambition to overcome his disability and his family losses has driven him relentlessly to win a seat among the gods. He has a great deal to lose.

Vorster described Pistorius’s reactions in court – the recurrent retching and tears – as “genuine”. The implication is that Pistorius would not react like this if is he was guilty. But why not? There is just as much reason for him to be anxious if he is guilty – if not more.

It is understandable that, whatever his feelings for his deceased girlfriend, Pistorius would find it hard to stomach this catastrophic blow to his career and reputation. He may well be retching from the realisation of his own self-destructiveness.

While Pistorius would be crazy not to be showing signs of anxiety during his trial, does this mean that he suffered from anxiety on the night that Steenkamp was murdered and prior to that?

Vorster points to a history of trauma and loss as Pistorius grew up, starting with the amputation of his legs when he was 11 months old, to the divorce of his parents when he was aged six, to the death of his mother from a drug reaction following surgery when he was 15. She describes his manic training sessions as a defence against overwhelming anxiety.

It is true that such traumatic losses have repercussions in later life if they are not acknowledged at the time.

But Pistorius does not easily fit into the description of a GAD sufferer. His determination to win and to be better than his fellow sportsmen who are abled is significant.

At the age of 13 months he was fitted with prostheses and at 17 months he was walking. His mother allowed him no slack as a child, expecting him to perform equally with able-bodied children. Pistorius tells a story of his mother getting her two sons off to school, telling her older son to put his shoes on and ordering Oscar to get his legs on – “And that’s the last I want to hear of it.”

Early on in his sporting career, his boxing trainer, Jannie Brooks, admits that it was six months before he realised Pistorius didn’t have legs.

There may have been little comfort available for Pistorius as he was growing up, but he seems to have been given huge confidence in his abilities and his aspirations along with being unusually gifted in sports.

In an extended interview with Pistorius, the New York Times journalist Michael Sokolove was struck by his “uncommon temperament – a fierce, even frenzied need to take on the world at maximum speed with minimum caution. It is an athlete’s disposition, that of a person who believes himself to be royalty of a certain kind – a prince of the physical world.”

This is not the picture of an anxiety ridden man but more of a narcissistic demi-god who will take on the world to achieve his ends – and who might feel he is above the law.

Gods and demi-gods don’t like to be crossed or to lose. A former girlfriend describes Pistorius, after being stopped for speeding by the police, taking the gun by his side and shooting a lamp-post.

In his fiery correspondence with Steenkamp, Pistorius comes across as possessive and controlling. Steenkamp complained that Pistorius “picked” on her and told him, “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me and how you will react to me.”

Despite Pistorius’s physical triumphs, the ever-present frustration of having to manage his disability would also explain his sudden unleashed anger. Whatever judgment may be made about his sanity, is this Pistorius’s real Achilles heel?


Credits:  http://www.theweek.co.uk/world-news/oscar-pistorius/58519/is-oscar-pistorius-anxious-or-just-angry-an-analysts-view#ixzz31x8WJAH4

“Matters before the Court” ~ The Murder of Jill Meagher.

A blogger made this comment on his/her blog:

“History is littered with examples of innocent people who were jailed as a result of fabricated police evidence”.  

The topic related to social media and the impact of mainstream media on matters before court.

My response ~

“I don’t understand what social media has to do with innocent people jailed as a result of fabricated police evidence. Honestly, how can fabrication of police evidence have anything to do with matters before the court? How can that be seen as contempt? There was no fabrication of any evidence when Bayley took investigators to the crime scene and admitted to raping, killing and burying Jill Meagher. It was good old police work – get a confession and lock the murderer up.

If you say that reporting of facts by police [to the public] are highly prejudicial, then who is in contempt? The police sharing info with the media? Or the media conveying that info [to the public]? If police don’t want certain info published, then why make public statements? In that case, I would say, the problem lies within the police force and the court should perhaps hold the police in contempt.

The public are permitted to sit in on a trial.

If a person from the media is sitting in on the trial, why is that journalist not allowed to write about his/her day in court and the happenings?

If the court is so concerned about coverage, why not change the rules completely? Don’t make court documents available, don’t get the public involved at all. Keep it a secret. Perhaps the police should then not rely on the media to spread the word should a crime be in progress or have happened. Perhaps CCTV of Bayley never should have been released to the public. In fact, it was totally unnecessary to have shown the CCTV footage. If the footage was shown to LE only, they would have realised Bayley was known to police. The publication of CCTV footage during peak hour on national television was totally and utterly unnecessary! They DID not even need the help of the public. All they had to do was show the footage to a few police officers, parole board members, etc.

However, when it became clear who the suspect was, the police went into overdrive trying to silence the media on any further coverage. Why? Because it became clear that this man was in fact a REPEAT OFFENDER out on parole! The public became enraged by this news and demanded answers. But all of a sudden NO questions were to be asked. NONE. Be quiet, because the MATTER IS BEFORE THE COURT! Yes, before the court. Hasn’t it been before the court before and before that and before that? Yes, but no one is allowed to talk about it. Why? Because the parolee will not get a FAIR TRIAL or it can INFLUENCE THE JURY or the parolee’s HUMAN RIGHTS before a fair and impartial jury. The trial will be in jeopardy.

About your use of the word “history”. Before advanced DNA testing a numerous amount of innocent people were convicted of crimes they did not commit.

The opposite also happened. A lot of cases became unsolved and the perpetrators are still walking free because they were never apprehended.

Across the world a lot of cold cases are now being successfully prosecuted because of DNA samples being preserved for the future.

Luckily because of MSM and DNA, a lot of cold cases are being opened again and it is wonderful that families of victims can, for the first time, get closure, acceptance and best of all, come face to face with their loved one’s murderer in a court of law!

I applaud the media for their efforts in bringing the truth to the people of any country, the people that work to earn a honest living. These citizens have a right to know who and what they are subjected to. Jill Meagher had the right to be safe. She was shown no mercy. None. Her dignity was stripped away from her when she was repeatedly raped by a serial rapist then buried in a shallow grave next to a road!”

Oscar Pistorius ~ Bullets kill … so does a baseball bat.

The world knows who Oscar Pistorius is, also known as Blade Runner.  No formal introduction is necessary as Oscar is seen as an inspiration to many people.   Or is he really?

The latest trend on social media comes in many forms, some serious, some with added Bible verses, some comical and some just weird to say the least.

Being a born South African myself, I know how close the nation hold the Bible to their hearts especially in times of need and times when comfort is needed.

In the last 48 hours a lot of people have taken to Twitter and social media to post inspirational tweets to Oscar.   Tweets like these:

@TheGodLight: God always saves the best till last, so that you will appreciate a blessing when it comes.”@OscarPistorius

and

@PrayInFaith: Get rid of your of worries. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. -1Peter 5:7″@OscarPistorius

It seems to me that Oscar will receive blessings from the gullible.

Cliché ‘s like “Only God is the Judge” or “We are not allowed to judge” or “Don’t judge” are well known phrases used among people that believe all murderers and killers should not be subjected to the rules and regulations of a Government of a country.  As long as you believe that God alone is Judge, you can do what you want in life.

Until of course their loved one gets murdered like Reeva Steenkamp did.

By uttering these cliché ‘s they themselves play the role of judge and jury …

On another note…

A poster on our Facebook page  commented saying some people have already made up their minds and labelled the accused as a murderer.

https://www.facebook.com/Justice4ReevaSteenkamp

Every crime has its own qualifiers.  Every crime tells a story.    Where else can we arrive at if the evidence steer us to an intentional killing?  What do we have so far?   We have ONE victim,  TWO weapons used by ONE person.   One of those weapons was an “overkill”.

This was my answer to the poster:

It is not a matter of me deciding whether he is guilty or not. But if you want my opinion? Yes, I think he murdered her.

Her family saw her body. They themselves saw the extensive head injuries she got. As mentioned in the media, investigators and detectives also conveyed this information to the family.

The extensive injuries were not caused by the ONE bullet that hit her in the head, like I mentioned it has been reported that she had extensive head injuries. A bloody baseball bat was found at the crime scene. I can safely say, that he allegedly hit her with the baseball bat.

Question, do you think he hit her with the bat after or before he shot her? You don’t have to answer me, just think about it.

If the hit with the bat came first, then he has a very very good reason to shoot her. Why? Because if she would have survived the hit to the head, she would have been hospitalised and lived to tell what he did to her. If she told the world what he did to her, his career is as good as gone. Also, her mother warned him that if he hurt her daughter she will have him on his back. In other words, she warned him. So, in my opinion, he had motive at that point to shoot her.

If the hit with bat came last, well, why on earth would you shoot someone and then hit them with a cricket bat? What will be the reason behind that?

The Prosecution charged him with premeditated murder. The bloody bat and the extensive injuries to the victim’s head is most probably the reason behind that charge. He hit her with a bat out of anger, then realised what he has done and then decided to shoot her. The shooting in my opinion was an act he did to support his “intruder” story. That is where premeditation comes in. He had time to ponder the fact whether to shoot or not. Premeditation can be a few seconds. If the prosecution can prove that he hit her with the bat and THEN shoot her, he will be toast… BURNED toast.

My second point… Why carry her body downstairs. She was still alive and must have been in an immense amount of pain from the injuries she sustained. Not just that, but to carry a seriously wounded person can cause more damage, especially to the neck and spine. She was still bleeding too, as is evident in one photo where fine drops of blood are spattered over the couch downstairs.

In my opinion, he tried to divert attention away from the initial crime scene. There was NO good reason to carry a fatally wounded person downstairs. NONE. Last I heard, all paramedics can climb stairs. Paramedics can go up mountains with all their gear.

He tried to get her away from the initial crime scene and guess what? It worked for him. Paramedics came in and tended to her and never saw the actual crime scene, (toilet).

Lastly, as some of you will know, I am an avid crime sleuth and have read of these type of crimes 100’s of times. I have learned and realised after my years of following crime, that an innocent person does NOT call his friend, his manager, his dad, his uncle or whatever if your partner is shot or injured. You call the emergency lines (911 in America, not sure of the number in South Africa). An innocent person does not seek help for himself in a situation like this, but seek help for the injured person.

So, just from these few examples I gave, I personally belief that the accused made himself guilty of a very serious crime.

Blood spatter on the couch downstairs in Oscar Pistorius' house.

Blood spatter on the couch downstairs in Oscar Pistorius’ house.