The Law Is A Wildebeest

Posted: August 25, 2015 in Opinion, The Law
Tags: , , , ,


When Oscar Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide rather than murder, it was thought he would get fifteen years in prison. This is the usual sentence for the offence. When he only got five years there was public outcry. Not only for the sentence, but also for the culpable homicide verdict. The majority watching the trial had already convicted him of murder and sentenced him to life imprisonment.

To add insult to injury, in South Africa, once you have served a sixth of your sentence, providing that sentence is five years or less, you are eligible to be considered for house arrest, meaning that you leave prison for home, with a few rules. In Pistorius’ case, the parole board had made their decision in June, three months before they were required to, an as yet unexplained anomaly. Oscar Pistorius, no doubt, was looking forward to being reunited with his family in more familiar surroundings.

That was until the Justice Minister, Michael Masutha demanded that the decision to release Pistorius be reviewed, so he now remains in jail, uncertain of his future as a kind of reality dawns on the South African legal system.

The question here is, why has it taken a high profile case like Pistorius to bring about a reviewal? Also what are the ramifications for similar cases with not so famous inmates? There are over three thousand waiting to hear if they will be granted correctional supervision or house arrest.

The other questions raised are more cynical. Why has the Justice Minister waited until three days before the release to object and why is he making himself available to the press on the day Reeva Steenkamp would have been 32? Is he trying to score some political points, by any chance?

Accused of favouring rich, white folks the same legal system which decided that, when Pistorius fired four shots through a door, almost certainly knowing that Reeva Steenkamp was behind that door, he was guilty only of culpable homicide, not murder, also released Joshua Nkomo, a black inmate proven guilty of nothing at this stage, after eight years in jail awaiting trial. What, you may wonder, was Nkomo’s crime? He was accused of armed robbery.

When Judge Thokozile Masipa handed down the sentence, little did she know that she would be contributing to a case in which the accused had been arrested, bailed, tried and completed jail time within two and a half years, had this demand for a review not occurred.

During his time in jail Pistorius has undergone courses of rehabilitation, has been evaluated as to whether he is a threat to society or not and has stated that, upon his release, he wants to work with children.

Most ordinary South Africans couldn’t care less about what HE has gone through. They just see a famous, rich white boy getting away with murder.

  1. Liliane says:

    He knew a person was in there and he shot 4 times ( he didn’t shoot high up in the door to scare the “intruder” ) knowing that he would seriously injure if not kill the person in the toilet, he shot anyway. That will be the grounds for the prosecution to file an appeal.


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