The first time I heard about Oscar Pistorius shooting his girlfriend in his home I was stunned beyond words.
Here’s this guy who has overcome so many challenges and prejudice to become the face of amputee sports globally. And now he’s defending himself against premeditated murder charges.
For those who haven’t read about the news or watched CNN in a long time here’s what happened (at least what I’ve managed to distill from all the various stories flying around).
In a nutshell he shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp three times, once in the head when she was in the bathroom. He thought he had just shot a burglar but was shocked when he opened the door to find his girlfriend instead. She later died in his arms before the ambulance could come. He later said he thought she was in bed.
Now a couple questions have cropped up in my mind about the incident. Biggest of them all is , and I’m serious, what kind of burglar would come to your house in the dead of night and take a shit before or after the robbery has occurred Fine, may be in South Africa where gun crimes, armed robbery and rape are as common as the air they breath the first thing you do when you suspect someone is using your toilet is to grab a gun, shoot first and find out who the intruder is after.
I’m not doubting Pistorius’ story. As improbable as it might be it could end up being true. But in saying this, his story is one hell of a story to corroborate with no witnesses around.
Another new development in the case is the discrediting of a key testimony, that of Officer Hilton Botha, as he has been charged with seven counts of attempted murder in an incident that happen in 2011. Even though the charges were dropped with regard to the minibus shooting, they were reinstated after he testified to deny Pistorius bail.
Waiting eagerly to see how this drama unfolds.
What would you do if you suspected a man of being a pedophile? Would you confront him about it or would you go to the police? Or if you happened to be in an establishment like the church or the army perhaps, would you report him to his superiors and let justice take it’s course?
Is doubt enough? Shouldn’t one wait for evidence, strong proof of the deed or misdeed as the case may be? Because after all one could end up being wrong about the said person -not just in relation to pedophilia, but also murder, theft, or some other crimes- but then his/her image would be destroyed for life. A person accused of pedophilia or murder or theft is tainted forever. Even when this person has been found innocent of this crime. Not only would he have to deal with the suspicions of just one person now he’d have to deal with that of the whole world. Questions that refuse to go away, like a recurrent migraine, then arise in the minds of these people; why suspect him in the first place if he didn’t do anything? I mean of all the men walking the earth why did the accuser accuse this particular man or woman and no one else? What did this person see that we as jurors are failing to see?
But yes one could also end up being right about some suspicions. A series of events could lead one to pass a judgement on somebody because the “evidence” is just too strong to ignore. Things this or that person said about the accused and what he himself does or says within a certain context could give credence to one’s suspicions. But even then the right course of action should be to investigate to get to the core of the truth. Because in the end that’s all one is interested in; the truth. Suspicions should be the path to arrive at the truth and should not be taken as truths in and of themselves.
Evidence should rule our actions. One’s over-active imagination or lack thereof could play out different possible situations just so our suspicions stick. One’s love or hatred for a person can also play a part so whatever this person does one would still keep one’s convictions regardless of the absence of proof.
This post was inspired by the movie “Doubt”.
_Steve ( follow me on twitter @song_1985)