Oscar’s sentencing hearing is in full swing, and with the help of Nick, who’s on-site in the courtroom, we’ll be bringing you the sights and sounds from Pretoria [LIVE], right here on this page. The most current updates will be posted at the top. All time stamps are South Africa time.
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Court will resume tomorrow, Wednesday, at 9:30am
2:05pm – With only an hour left to go in the court day [they always wrap up promptly at 3pm] Nel asks that they adjourn early so his last witness doesn’t have to carry over until tomorrow. He said it’ll be emotional testimony and may take up to two hours, or could be less. There are a few different theories of who the last witness will be. I originally read Kim Martin, but Kim wouldn’t take 2 hours. Some other theories are Gina Myers, Trish Taylor or Samantha Taylor. I think it will be June.
Roux was pretty annoyed by the multiple breaks that Nel has been requesting. He objected to them finishing early and said to Masipa he felt like it was a tactic. Nel barked back that it wasn’t, he was just trying to manage his witness and this adjournment was in their best interest. Masipa hesitated, but gave it to Nel. She seems to be a little softer on him these past few days than she was during the original trial.
After the last witness testifies tomorrow, both sides will argue their case, and then it goes to Masipa for a decision. Many think she’ll decide the sentence by Friday. I’m really not sure, although I lean on the side of Friday as well. I just don’t think anybody, including Masipa, wants to drag this out any longer.
1:22pm – From Nick: ‘June looks shattered.’
A voice of reason…
12:56pm – Roux is coming at Mashabane pretty hard. She’s been very emotive on the stand talking about her experience with Oscar. Roux trying to package it as simple incompatibility, but Mashabane clearly feels Oscar was out of line with his tantrums. Roux’s trying to get her to say that Oscar isn’t violent, to which she will not agree. Roux gets admonished by Masipa for trying to trick the witness. Hmmm… is Masipa starting to wake up?
12:55pm – Notice the dining table in the picture below – that’s the dining set that Oscar had in his Pretoria home. The one where he says that he and Reeva had dinner on the last night of her life while working on her modeling contracts. The one that was just feet away from Reeva’s dead body as Oscar dumped her at the bottom of his stairs. Carl’s working extra hard on PR this week… fishing for sympathy for Oscar but proving to the world how utterly insensitive their family can be.
12:35pm – Oscar glaring at Mashabane
12:30pm – From Nick: ‘Shrink lady shakes her head when Mashabane says Oscar was never assaulted as he claims. No report ever filed.’
12:27pm – Mashabane is going into a detailed explanation about what medication was officially prescribed for Oscar, and what wasn’t. When she tried to explain to him the protocol and why he was being denied certain drugs, he threw hissy fits. He also claimed that one of his medications wasn’t working, yet when he turned the bottle into Mashabane, it hadn’t been opened.
From Nick: ‘Masipa looks bemused. Barry Roux looks a bit worried. Like WTF has my client been doing?’
12:14pm – Oscar’s hand is on his forehead, staring at the prison official. This is the most interested he’s seemed in any of the testimony thus far.
12:10pm – Nurse Mashabane, a nurse from the prison where Oscar served 10 months, is the 2nd witness for the state. She’s talking about how on March 1, 2015, Oscar screamed at her to get out of his cell while he was sleeping and she was trying to complete her rounds. Apparently he covered himself with his sheet and told her she was disturbing him.
11:54am – From Nick: ‘Barry and June not really talking. Henke and Arnold not really talking.’
More of Carl’s B.S….
11:40am – Still on break. Carl was overheard talking to a security guard in the hall about facial recognition software. Lord knows what the hell the Incredible Hulk is up to now…
11:35am – From Nick: ‘Oscar did eventually leave the courtroom out a side door with Aimee and Carl.’
It’s hard to say if there’s tension amongst them, or if it’s just the emotion of the moment that has Oscar with his panties in a bunch.
11:29am – From Nick: Aimee and Carl went over to Oscar in the dock to console him but he turned away from them. I wonder if he’s upset with his family for not testifying? Whose decision was that? That must be pretty disappointing when not a single person in your life stands up for you. Where’s his buddy Alex P. who was a huge supporter of his back during trial?
11:20am – It looks like Oscar has some type of bruise or blister on his forehead. Any guesses on the cause? Fight? Drunken fall? Intentionally banged his head on the wall?
11:19am – Roux starts off cross-examination saying he had considered going through the objective findings with Barry today. But now after hearing his testimony, he has decided it wouldn’t be appropriate. He basically gave himself a pat on the back for working extra hard not to be a dick. FYI Roux, mentioning that you decided not to be a dick, still kinda makes you a dick.
So instead Roux just says they understand and they’re really very, very sorry. Barry acknowledges that Oscar did reach out to them through his lawyers to meet with them and they [he and June] declined. He says they’re just not ready to do it right now. Barry, says through tears, someday he wants to sit down alone – he and Oscar – to have a conversation.
Nick said he could see Oscar nod his head in agreement when Barry said this. And Roux reiterates that it’s indeed what Oscar wants. Can you imagine. How the hell do you have a conversation with the murderer of your child without ripping their throat out? But I can also appreciate how a victim would want to ask questions of a perpetrator. They’ll never get the answers they’re looking for, but I can appreciate the effort to try.
11:12am – Perhaps the most painful part of his testimony was when he talked about how he could visualize Reeva’s fear and pain as she was being murdered. He was in a place of not knowing what was real, and what he was imagining. Like a perpetual nightmare that you’re unsure whether it’s a hallucination or not. He would hurt himself by punching the wall and other objects so he could physically feel the pain. Feel Reeva’s pain. He was shaking uncontrollably while sharing this with the court.
Meanwhile, Aimee is seen in the background sitting totally stone-faced. The only visible emotion that I could detect was annoyance.
I’ve always found it incredibly telling that Reeva never mentioned Oscar to her dad. It’s a big deal for any woman to tell her dad about a guy she cares for. Dads don’t want to hear about random hook-ups and casual dating – obviously – nor do women want to share that kind of stuff. Women do however talk to their dad about special relationships. The fact that Reeva never even mentioned Oscar’s name to her dad, even though they spoke on the phone every Sunday, says a lot.
11:10am – Barry explained to the court that he and June were in a terrible financial situation at the time of Reeva’s death. Reeva had told friends that she wanted to make enough money to look after her parents one day. Barry says that just two weeks after Reeva’s murder, their landlord sent them a notice because of what she had seen in the news. They were so upset by this insensitivity that they decided to immediately relocate.
Barry talked about his disappointment that Oscar’s defense brought up the fact that Oscar gave them money. It was something that the lawyers had worked out and had agreed to keep out of the public [because it’s nobody’s fucking business.] It wasn’t blood money. Just like every family that’s ever filed a civil suit, the Steenkamps needed financial help – needed, not wanted – and Oscar paid up.
10:59am – I’ve seen a lot of court cases over the years, and a lot of devastation, but can honestly say that Barry’s testimony is some of the saddest testimony I’ve heard in a long time.
At one point he turned and spoke directly to Masipa asking that the court allow photos of Reeva’s injuries to be shown so the world can see the wounds and pain inflicted upon her. He also hopes “…. that the world can see this and that most probably distract people who are thinking of that type of deed to stop them in the future.”
10:29am – Barry is crying and shaking. It’s heartbreaking. He says they have pictures of Reeva all over the house. He’s changed completely since Reeva’s death. He can’t mix with people anymore. He sits on his veranda at 2/3am and smokes and has his coffee. Nick and I can attest to Barry having a bit of a wall. June has it too. When we met the Steenkamps last year, we all sat around one table, except for Barry who sat at a nearby table. He just needed a little bit of extra space. He didn’t really engage in much conversation. He seemed content with just being there and listening. Despite Barry being an incredibly warm and gracious person, it’s impossible to miss his brokenness. Now that’s REAL brokenness. Not the stuff that Oscar fakes.
“Every day of my life is the same” – Barry explaining, through tears, how although people say time heals, nothing has changed for him since Reeva’s death.
10:26am – Kim Martin’s husband is offering Barry support. Barry’s in the witness box now. [images courtesy of Karyn Maughn]
9:59am – From Nick… he says the tone in court today is “quite festive.” So obviously his vibe is much different than ours watching from afar, as is always the case anytime you’re actually present in court. Oscar came over briefly to where he [Nick] is sitting and looks less whacked out than yesterday. He’s hugging lots of people. Aimee gave her dad, Henke, a big hug. There hasn’t been any noticeable one on one interaction between Henke and Oscar.
9:54am – And again within minutes… the witness is done. That’s it for the defense? No family, no friends? An extremely lack luster ending on Oscar’s side. One can’t help but wonder, why. Have they given up? Do they know something we don’t?
Nel wants a break which means Barry Steenkamp is probably coming up next. Such an odd feeling these last few days. Like we’re on the home stretch of this quest for justice, and yet, it just feels empty and kind of unsatisfying. Oscar’s still playing games and the defense witnesses are still useless. Everyone has had enough.
9:33am – Today’s 2nd witness, and the final witness [I believe] for the defense is Marius Nel. He’s a pastor at 3C Ministries which helps the underprivileged. He’s also a registered spirital worker at DCS. He has visited Oscar many times over the past few years. He experienced Oscar as a man that was broken.
Marius says there are schools in need of assistance, for sports, nutrition, etc., and they’ve expressed interest in having Oscar help them out. When he says this, Jenna smiles and looks in Oscar’s direction with little imaginary hearts beaming from her eyes. Meanwhile, Oscar has his head down, probably doodling. He seems pretty uninterested.
9:30am – First up, is a woman from Iceland named Ebba Gudny Gudnundottir (not sure if I spelled that right.) 11 years ago, she found out while pregnant that her son would be born without legs. She went online and researched double amputee and images of Oscar came up. Her mother decided to write to Oscar, not really expecting to hear back. But Oscar did write to them and eventually they all met and a friendship formed. Oscar was a friend/mentor of sorts to both of Ebba’s children. At one of Oscar’s competitions, he gave his medal to Ebba’s son.
Ebba spent all of about 5 minutes on the stand. The only question Nel asked was the age of her son to which Ebba answered, eleven. My guess is that when/if Nel addresses this witness in his arguments that he’ll say the person Oscar was eleven years ago [when he first engaged with the family] is different than the person he is today.
Something to note: Oscar’s ex Jenna Edkins (BabyShoes) has been in court this week. She’s in the olive green sweater, sitting next to Aimee. Hmmm.. friends or lovers again?
9:23am – Nick reports there are big smiles at the start of Day 2. The courtroom is a little less full than yesterday. I’ve also experienced a quieter Twitter this morning. I think Scholtz completely turned everyone off. One of my friends on Websleuths sent me a message saying the following:
“I really lost heart with it all yesterday. Obviously we all want him locked up for as long as possible but know that won’t happen. Apart from being a first offender and having done anger management courses and having done anger management courses and getting psychotherapy, both of which were ordered by the court, IMO there are no mitigating circumstances.
It seems the anger management courses didn’t work, but I’m waiting for Nel to produce evidence that OP lied to Scholtz about having heard the man being raped and then saw him hanging for 30 minutes the following morning, and the fact that he was not assaulted.
If they are both lies, Masipa should read him the riot act and hand down a longer rather than shorter sentence. I’m afraid I have no confidence that her sentence will be appropriate. I’d love her to hand down another shockingly light sentence that the State will appeal to the SCA who I’m sure will deal with him harshly, but in her own way she’s as cunning as OP and will give him the lightest sentence she can without provoking the State to appeal.”
What is the Twitter world saying?…
Day 2 will begin at 9:30am on Tuesday, June 14
In the meantime, while we wait… Here’s a nod to the batshit crazy Pistorians… Pucker up, Oz.