At 3 AM in the wee hours of Valentine’s Day in 2013, Oscar Pistorius,27, – the only double amputee paralympic and olympic athlete in the world- had just shot his 29 year old girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp at his Pretoria home. Pistorius was subsequently arrested on murder charges.This Amul strip showcases the court trial in this tragic tale of a love gone awry.
Oscar maintains that he shot Reeva mistaking her for an intruder.He says that waking from his sleep he had gone out to move the fan in and the room being pitch dark did not realise that Reeva had ,moved into the lavatory.He heard the washroom window open and challenged the “intruder” and then shot four times through the lavatory door.When he broke open the door he saw Reeva lying in a pool of blood in the brutal aftermath of his actions (in self defence).
The defence has tried its best to make a fight out of a hopeless situation.They dressed up Oscar in a black suit and tie with a white shirt with a clean shaven visage – demonstrating his willingness to conform to authority-contrary to his earlier run ins with law and his image as a flamboyant playboy who was found obscenely socialising even in the period preceding the trial.
Pistorius was also presented as having generalised anxiety disorder, which combined with his physical vulnerability – could have affected his actions on the fateful night and was not fully capable of realising the wrongfulness of his actions.
Prosecution lawyer Gerrie Nel is seeking a sentence premeditated murder.He contends that Pistorius killed Reeva in a fit of rage after a heated argument with her.His irresponsible actions in the past – accidentally discharging a friend’s fire arm in a restaurant and firing on a taffic light after an argument with a cop – lends weight to the charges.Pistorius also lost credibility in court and emerged as a – “deceitful, appalling and a poor witness” and his show of remorse and grief during the trial was termed staged and fake.
However Thokozile Masipa, the judge, ripped the prosecution claims and said that it had been unable to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius murdered Reeva with an intent.She found him guilty for Culpable Homicide.Pistorius had already been tried by the media and assumed guilty of murder fit and had no case to defend and the “Not Guilty of Murder” verdict came as a shock. .
Defence lawyer,Barry Roux had achieved what he set out to and Oscar Pistorius had done a “Houdini” and escaped a life term – for now.The prosecution is almost certain to appeal after the sentencing on 12 October 14.
Prior to the trial, Pistorius was an exceptional athlete who overcame extreme disability and competed with able bodied counterparts in the London Olympics in 2012.For his achievements he had had the honour of being hosted by Nelson Mandela (Madiba).His triumph over adversity was acknowledged globally and in distant India too an Amul ad commemorated his historical participation in the London Olympics.
Then came the fall.And it was hard and devastating.
But humour exists in the most improbable places and the bungling South African Police, Judge Masipa and the defence team have saved the day for me.
Police Investigators were like rampaging pachyderms at the crime scene.One of the “tuskers” made off with a luxury watch belonging to Pistorius (probably hung around the trunk)! Shockingly enough, the watch was never found!
Fearing a repeat, the chief investigator then ordered removing the door of the lavatory cubicle (a key piece of evidence) to his office (???) as he felt that “We already had the experience of the missing watch, so we decided to take the door,” lest someone walked away with it as well!Who walks away with a blood splattered door???What good would it serve once removed from the crime scene?Interestingly the guy who ordered this,Van Rensberg, has since retired and become a sports coach (??!!!???) in a school.
Chew this now – .Photographs of the crime scene- a 4 m x 4m washroom- were taken by two Police photographers simultaneously.And they had different representations (!!) and the photographers do not even remember seeing each othe!!! X Men for sure.!!!!!
Lastly, when tested in court for observation skills they could not spot the difference between two sets of their own Police tape.These dim wit cops have earned the right to be show cased in any future remake of Peter Seller’s “Pink Panther” movies.
With Policemen of this calibre the prosecution still managed a conviction is a miracle indeed.
Judge Masipa seems to be straight out of comedy nights with Kapil.She believed a sobbing Pistorius when he said he did not think he would kill when he fired! Not her fault- after all when someone fires on a suspected intruder he does it thinking that that the weapon will “shoot” lollipops and not kill anyone!!! For this singular act of stupidity Masipa be rechristened as “Maha – Siyappa” (Grand Fiasco)!
The defence lawyer has done a good job but it could have been better.I am trying to get him to exchange notes with the defence team of a certain Lalu Prasad Yadav – accused of depriving the bovine specie of fodder (no he didnt consume it but simply duplicated receipts)- which managed to delay the verdict for 16 years and in the intervening years convinced prime witnesses and approvers to depart for their heavenly abodes!
Pistorius also lacked in his team a Shayan Munshi type “hostile witness”.Munshi has however coached Lalu’s victims – the cows- and they are soon arriving in South Africa ,as star “hostile witnesses”,in aid of the beleaguered defence team!
Coming to the Amul Strip.
It depicts a contrite and supposedly remorseful Pistorius receiving the verdict from Masipa.The detailing is excellent as the black suit and Oscar’s body language during the trial have been amazingly captured.The Amul Girl is there ,in all proability,as the defence lawyer.Judge Masipa is depicted well in her red gown.
is a take on the verdict finding him Not Guilty of murder in the face of compelling evidence as well as seemingly erroneous logic of the Judge.The verdict was much awaited and its anti climatic announcement has been depicted very well indeed.
The Punch line…The Final Word..is a well crafted aside on the disputed finality of the verdict and endorses the status of the Amul butter and brand as the final word when it comes to dairy products.
The truth of the fateful night is only known to Pistorius. And I am left shaking my head at the sad transformation of the “Blade Runner” in to a “Blade Gunner”.
This fracas had an unintended victim-Nike.The sports gear provider was forced to rethink on its “Just do it” slogan’.Why?Because three of its brand ambassdors -Tiger Woods,Lance Armstrong and Pistorius have stretched it a little too far- “Just do it…to hell with the consequences!” .
And a suggestion for all couples likely to argue- put a signboard outside your washrooms-“Using Toilet-Don’t Shoot” !!!
R.I.P Reeva Steenkamp (19 August 1983 – 14 February 2013).