the pistorius verdict: not guilty of murder, guilty only of culpable homicide (something like manslaughter) AND BUT still out on bail as he awaits the october 13 sentencing hearing/s — a last month out in the world before he’s locked up for some years? or a sign of things to come, as in, the lightest sentence, and he practically walks free? amazing.
of course judge masipa could still surprise us with a reasonably appropriate maximum sentence, as many years in jail as possible, anywhere from 8 to 15 i gather, but i’m not hopeful.
she’s right, state prosecutor nel did not prove his case that the couple had a huge quarrel that led to the shooting. but i can’t believe that the loud angry arguing voices that a witness heard for some time before the shooting, and the fact that reeva still had partially digested food in her stomach after a full 8 hours daw since her last meal, were dismissed just because these did not jibe with pistorius’s story that incredibly the judge found credible, as though there were no reason for pistorius to lie, or to make up the intruder story — even citing pistorius’s screams for help and the reeva-in-his-arms dramatics post-shooting as proof that he was devastated to find that it was reeva who was dead. yeah, right. as though it were an impossibility that pistorius was play-acting, playing the intruder card, to cover up what may really have happened.
i followed this case very closely via cable tv, internet websites, and twitter. i even started re-reading my nadine gordimers, and wondered if she had been aware of, what was she thinking about, the killing of reeva. the defense had closed its case, and court was in recess before closing arguments, when gordimer diedin july 14, what a loss. if this had happened in her prime, she would surely be writing a book about the case and how prosecutor nel failed to give legs to the angry-argument story when he could have done so, easily, by grilling pistorius on the valentine’s day angle. or maybe nel fell for this bit of testimony, hook, line, and sinker?
He (Pistorius) said they had no major plans for St Valentine’s Day the next day, but that he had bought her a bracelet from a jeweler she liked earlier that year and was going to buy a trinket for her to put on it.
that sounds to me more like wishful thinking in the light of what happened. and in the light of the fact that the reeva-oscar romance was just three months old, this was their first valentine’s day as a couple, and she had been looking forward to it.
theirs, after all, had been a whirlwind kind of thing, they were really just getting to know each other, reeva hadn’t moved in. and those three months of “dating” and sleep-overs had not been all moonlight and roses, as revealed by the lengthy text exchanges over the green-eyed monster in pistorius and his temper and controlling ways, and reeva insisting on being heard and admitting that sometimes she was afraid of him. but it would seem they were in love, and quick enough to forgive each other. and it would seem that reeva was more happy than fearful in the run-up to feb 14.
according to reports, she spent the night of feb 12 with pistorius. and they must have had a good night because next morning her first tweet (with photo of the shake, and ‘boo’ referring to pistorius) — both she and pistorius had/have twitter accounts — was this:
some three hours later she tweeted this:
also sometime that day, reeva was at a shop to have gift-wrapped her valentine present for pistorius: a framed collage of photos of the two of them, and a card saying it was a good time to tell him i love you;
… A Party Box shop assistant who says she wrapped the gift told how Reeva, 29, acted “like any girl in love” on her visit the day before.
The woman who asked not to be named, said: “She was very friendly. We joked about a girl having to buy her boyfriend something if she wants something in return on Valentine’s Day.”
so really, i don’t believe pistorius’s story. i think they were awake at midnight when the clock struck valentine! and the quarrel started soon after, in the first hours of that special day for lovers (especially for couples in the early days of a relationship) that reeva had been looking forward to, was excited about, had prepared for, only to be disappointed, disenchanted, and, possibly, as the night wore on, quite infuriated.
disappointed that pistorius wasn’t into valentine’s, and was unapologetic — he’ll take her to a jeweler’s shop daw and get her a trinket for a bracelet he bought her early in the year, what’s the big deal (medyo barat). disenchanted because pistorius may even have complained about being kept awake, and she may have found herself midnight snacking alone on whatever food and drink she had prepared to mark the beginning of what she thought would be a wonderful day, and quite likely wishing she had gone home to johannesburg instead. and finally, infuriated –maybe pistorius laughed, sneered, at her for taking valentine’s day seriously? or maybe, as some reports said, happy valentine’s day texts started coming in for both of them from other men, other women, whatever, and they just both lost it, thus the shouting match, when all kinds of ugly issues may have surfaced?
maybe they even broke up? and reeva decided she was going home, got into her jeans, but pistorius refused to disable the alarm, it was unsafe for a woman out there in the middle of the night, so she got out of the jeans, ran to the toilet to get away from him, with her cellphone, not so much for the light, but maybe to text her predicament to some friend? which may have freaked pistorius out, an angry reeva could be a loose cannon, oh the stories she could tell about him, goodbye to his golden-boy image, no way could he allow it, and he got his gun, I’ll say I thought she was an intruder, can’t let her mess up my life, bang! bang! bang! bang?
there’s talk that pistorius plans to write a book, make some money on the story, a story full of lies it would seem, to get back some if not all of the huge money he spent to mount a winning defense. if true, a film or two should not be far behind. here’s hoping for one from left field that will seriously challenge pistorius’s tall tale and give legs to nel’s allegation that there was no intruder, there was only reeva, and there was a quarrel, and she locked herself in the toilet to get away from him, and he slipped into killer mode and started shooting.
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