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Monday, February 18, 2013

Thoughts on Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius


Reeva Steenkamp and Oscar Pistorius
Mike Holmes/The Herald/Gallo Images/Getty Images, Michael Steele/Getty Images

When the news first broke about a shooting incident at the home of Oscar Pistorius I didn’t even know who Reeva Steenkamp was. However, this was not the case with the alleged suspect in this tragedy. Although I don’t know Oscar personally, I know a little about his teenage past, from a time - not too long ago, when he was a student at Pretoria Boys High, a school where I happened to know a number of other kids in the neighbourhood, who at the time were more-or-less the same age as Oscar.

Today these same kids are all in their mid-twenties but unfortunately I cannot declare with any degree of certainty that all of them can today be considered as “grown-up”, and that includes Oscar as well. For me it feels as if all these kids have become young adults way too fast. Some of them have already fallen off the rails and others are fast on the way. This reminds me of that Afrikaans saying: Vroeg ryp, vroeg vrot - (English: Early ripe, early rotten). But, who am I to judge, for the older you get the quicker time seems to fly.

From what I’ve heard from the other kids about Oscar when they were all still in High School - it does not sound as if he were a very popular kid at the time. However, kids of all ages have a nasty habit of treating other kids with disabilities like they are the plague. They’re also more prone to acts of jealousy.  This is regrettably one of those facts of life… Give humans a chance and they’ll find any excuse to wipe each other off the map… How we all landed on the same planet is a great mystery that hasn’t been solved yet!

I am not even going to attempt to express an opinion regarding the Oscar/Reeva tragedy, as I don’t have the facts at my disposal and neither can I rely on the rubbish the media has published thus far. All I know is that many books have been written on the subject of celebrities and the curse that comes with their fame… Here is one, I highly recommend. Incidentally, there’s even a new Kindle Edition out about Oscar Pistorius, published on 14 February 2013, on Amazon - Numerology for Oscar Pistorius (they don’t waste any time, do they?)

One of the most sensible articles (in my opinion), published at an early stage of this heartbreaking news, was written by Mandy Wiener. The article is titled: When the media circus moves on, Reeva Steenkamp will still be dead. I found the closing words most fitting for the current situation we find ourselves in:

“In South Africa, truth is so often stranger than fiction. The reality can hurt so badly that we don’t want to believe it.”
Mandy Wiener (Daily Maverick)

I never had any intentions of publishing anything about this tragedy, because I don’t want this blog to become a platform for controversial crime-related topics, which can sometimes take months and even years to come to a conclusion. The subject of “sports” is another topic this blog does not specialize in.

However, while Oscar’s case is dominating the headlines right now and will probably continue to do so for the coming weeks and possibly months, I feel the blog cannot move on to other topics, until it has dealt with this specific tragedy. Accordingly, I have decided to not even wait for the bail application tomorrow, when it is expected that the State may disclose some of their evidence.

To be truly honest, I don’t even know what to say about this specific tragedy at this point in time, except that my heart goes out to everyone affected by it. Consequently, I simply decided to start typing away and to express my thoughts as I go along, hoping that some order will magically present itself. (Let’s see what happens, shall we?)

I once put my foot in it when I started delivering opinions related to the triple-murders of the Steenkamp family in Griekwastad, an incident which occurred in April last year, which also shocked the nation to the core, and which is nowhere near finalized yet.

(Incidentally, the trial of the 16-year-old Griekwastad boy facing three counts of murder will commence next month on Monday, 11 March 2013, in the Northern Cape High Court.)

Regarding the Griekwastad murders -- according to several news reports the State will be calling no less than 76 witnesses to testify. Amongst the witnesses will be four forensic laboratory experts from Pretoria and Cape Town. Forensic evidence will, no doubt, play a crucial role in the proceedings. My guess is that the Oscar Pistorius case is going to be even bigger as far as expert testimony and international media coverage is concerned, and that forensic evidence will definitely also play a crucial role.

Although one can hardly call the similarities between the Griekwastad murders and the killing of Reeva Steenkamp striking, there are a few points worth noting:
  • The victims all share the same surname namely, Steenkamp.
  • In both cases the people died in a hail of bullets allegedly fired by someone very close to the family.
  • In both cases initial media reports created immense confusion.
  • In both cases the media crucified the suspects before their first appearance in court.
  • In both cases the media violated ethical codes related to journalism and also the Justice System.
  • The massive Naspers group of newspapers and their affiliated gossip magazines had the upper hand as far as the presentation of hearsay gossip was concerned.
  • Both cases dominated the news headlines for weeks on end, while similar atrocities that were being committed in various parts of the country received minimal coverage, and some were not even mentioned.

This evening’s 7 o’clock television news once again presented the beautiful Reeva Steenkamp as an exceptionally caring and loving person. I have no doubt that she was, but these intimate public disclosures in no way substantiates the fact that she was totally incapable of provoking or infuriating her lover to the point that her behaviour triggered the worst in him.

And speaking of killing… I will now share with readers a very personal episode in my life, when I too was on the verge of killing someone:

Not too long ago I had a son, aged 21 years, who was addicted to heroin. Despite the fact that he was an addict, he too displayed the most caring and loving qualities. His life-threatening habit, however, often brought out the worst in me. What made matters worse was that while my family and I were doing everything in our power to keep him alive, the rest of the world did not seem to care a damn. We eventually received news of his death on the morning of 5 October 2010. The news of his tragic death was shared with readers on this blog, here.

The following, however, was never shared with readers:

It was a matter of weeks after my son’s death that we discovered where he got his daily heroin-fix from… It was from a source we least expected, a respected member of the community and Headmaster of a distinguished school. He was one of the few people who offered to help my son, at a time when we were at a complete loss as to what to do next. At the time we had no more money (or sponsors) left to pay the outstanding debt owed to the many rehabs, which - in the end were unable to help him anyway.

It was only after my son’s death that I discovered - this man had supplied drug-money to my son, apparently in exchange for sexual favours, knowing full well that heroin addicts will do anything to get their fix. The moment I found out something inside my head snapped… I wanted to drive over to the man’s house and put a bullet in his brain. I told nobody about my intentions, so there was nobody to advise me against my actions. It was thus purely through the Grace of G_d that I managed to rid my mind of such reckless thoughts, hence the reason why I can now safely write about it. Although the info was handed over to the police, I don’t have any high hopes they’ll ever succeed in bringing the bastard to court. I’ve already written the whole sordid business off as history!

I’ve shared this confidential chapter in my private life to emphasize the following:
  1. Very few people will understand the type of pain a person experiences when you lose someone you’ve loved with all your heart and soul.
  2. It is so easy for thoughts of murder to be triggered in your mind when you least expect it.
  3. Who are we to judge? (James 4:11-12)

May Reeva rest in peace and love!

UPDATE: February 19 2013 (22:24)

Click here to read the complete official affidavit by Oscar Pistorius as submitted to the Gauteng Regional Court, Pretoria, February 19 2013.
The affidavit sets out the events that led to the shooting of Reeva Steenkamp.

6 comments :

Great White said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Tia,

That is an incredibly sad and moving story.

I felt rage building up within me while reading it, so nobody could blame you for feeling the way you did, or for wanting to take the law into your own hands.

I’m just so pleased for you that you never went ahead with it though, because as much as that sick low-life deserved nothing better, it is an act that would have destroyed you and would have haunted you for the rest of your days.

It is tragic to think that the legal system in South Africa is such nowadays that it would fail you in this matter now, but that vile creature will get his just dessert one day; of that you can be certain.

Look after yourself Tia and thanks for sharing. I found your story very moving indeed.

Corry Visser said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Pensioner says;

We am saddened and our hearts go out to you, Tia. Thanks for sharing your personal experience on your blog!

whiteson said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

My heart goes out to you Tia. I, myself cannot imagine your rage at that time. I can assure you somebody else will do what you wanted to do at that time. Such a lowlife in that position?

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

The complete official affidavit by Oscar Pistorius, as sourced from politicsweb, can be viewed here on the blog.

George van Heerden said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Tia,
That is what separates us from animals and beasts.....reason!
May God help you to overcome this terrible loss and make you stronger!

Tia Mysoa said... .....Click here to refresh this blog

Thank you to all the commentators who have expressed sympathy regarding my son’s death. I wasn’t going to bring the subject up in this posting, but I was at a loss for words regarding the Reeva/Oscar tragedy, and was typing away as thoughts were entering my mind. My departed son is always in my mind, all the time. The decision to write about it was made on the spur of the moment, and was shared here with the hope that it would offer some relief to all those involved in the unfortunate Oscar/Reeva tragedy. We live in a truly stuffed-up society… Look at those idiots from the ANCWL, for example, toy-toying outside court demanding Oscar’s head, and the many unsavory jokes being made about this fine athlete. After reading his official statement today I’m convinced the man is not a killer, but it doesn’t seem as if the worldview shares my sentiments. Thanks again visiting and for leaving your comments on this blog. It is much appreciated.

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