JUDGE MASIPA WILL DELIVER OSCAR’S SENTENCE ON JULY 6
Nick & Lisa’s Day 3 Wrap-up…
12:20pm – It’s now Nel’s turn: “I will attempt, my Lady, to address relevant points. I will not address society. I will not address investigators that wrote the book. I will not address perceptions. I will not address perceptions in the media, although I will consider dealing with some of the perceptions that Mr. Roux has mentioned. May I start my Lady that I was rather perplexed when Mr. Roux – and I heard these words – when Mr. Roux argued about the lady in a shop that wasn’t happy with Mr. Pistorius in the shop. Mr. Roux said the following: ‘She called him a murderer, a murderer of what?’ Not who, a murderer of what. Someone that he thought was an intruder. As if, my Lady, the mere fact that the accused thought it was an intruder would detract from the seriousness of murder.”
“A murder of what, my Lady, that ‘what’ is Reeva.”
5. Mr. Roux argued that Mr. Steenkamp’s pain was exacerbated by an understanding that this may have been Dolus Directus. “My Lady, I’ve been astonished by the argument diminishing the father’s real grief. I’ve been astonished.”
“If we want to talk about a broken man, we saw a broken man” – Nel talking about Barry Steenkamp
6. He address the Visagie case. Both the trial court and the SCA rejected putative self defense. That puts Visagie to rest. It’s not relevant.
7. The accused accepting the court judgement now because it’s the judgement and he has no choice, Nel says is very different than accepting wrong doing. It is a pretty laughable argument on behalf of the defense.
8. The argument about Oscar not being able to study in prison is just not valid. Many people study in prison. Nel says there’s no foundation for this argument. Oscar’s no longer crying. He’s staring intently at Nel looking particularly pissed off. Nel reminds the Court that Oscar asked for many things while in prison, including a TV, and was granted many of them.
9. Roux argued about Sister Mashabane’s evidence that if he were in Oscar’s shoes [in pain and wanting his medicine of choice] that he may have acted as the accused did. Nel: “I don’t expect of any man to enter a room where there are three female sisters sitting, banging a table and throwing things on a table. Being aggressive. But my Lady, we have a convicted prisoner doing that. Convicted of a violent crime.” This was only 4 months into Oscar’s incarceration.
10. Nel: “Is it not time to see what this accused did to Reeva Steenkamp?” Nel tells the Court that the family wants to show the world, and they have requested Nel’s help in making that happen. Nel says he will be asking the Court to lift the ban on the images of Reeva.
11. In reference to State vs. Herrera, a case cited by the defense, deals with an abused lady who killed her partner after years and years and years of abuse. That is not what we have in this instance.
Nel reads from Masipa’s judgement:
“There was ever a feeling of unease on my part as I listened to one witness after another, placing what I thought was an overemphasis on the accused’s vulnerability. Yes, the accused is vulnerable, but has excellent coping skills. Thanks to his mother, he rarely saw himself as disabled and against odds, excelled as a top athlete, became respected worldwide and even came to compete against able-bodied persons. For some reason, that picture remains obscured in the background”
The SCA’s judgement also points out Oscar’s success as an athlete.
Dr. Scholtz went to great pains to describe Oscar’s depression and anxiety. There is medication that can help Oscar with these conditions – medicine that was ordered for him in prison – that Oscar never took. Scholtz also suggested that Oscar should be hospitalized, yet no steps have been taken to hospitalize Oscar.
“If one takes that paragraph – ‘I know there’s somebody in the bathroom, I fired 4 shots through that, into the toilet door’ – why is that not very close to Dolus Directus? So we argue the accused’s degree of culpability is very close to Dolus Directus.”
Nel then address the ITV interview. In addressing Oscar’s multiple versions, he says:
“I don’t know what will happen with ITV, my Lady,
but in this Court, there’s no acceptable explanation ever offered. He had the opportunity to do so
– he failed.”
“Our courts have a duty, my Lady, despite any personal doubt, to impose the minimum sentence. It’s a duty of this court.” – Nel
Roux concludes by saying Oscar could not possibly be deterred any more than he already is from his former imprisonment, from his rehabilitation programs and from the restrictions of house arrest.
“If a sentence is now imposed on a basis of further general deterrence, this will mainly serve as a veil for retribution.”
After Oscar puts his legs back on and takes his seat in the dock, a phone rings out playing music from the gallery. The owner of the phone attempts to turn it off but can’t and gets booted out. In the front row is Carl with Jenna Edkins [now rumored to be living with Oscar at Arnold’s mansion] and father, Henke.
See for yourself, Oscar’s demonstration in court. Begin the video at 02:28:30:
“I don’t want to overplay vulnerability, that’s not what I want to do.” – Roux
12:00pm – Roux asks that Oscar may stand before the Court to show them how he gets around on his stumps. It’s time that the Court sees, Roux says. I hadn’t really considered it before that they might pull something like this, but as soon as I saw Oscar in his gym clothes earlier I just knew we were in for a show.
Masipa grands permission and Roux turns around at Oscar and wags his finger at him signaling him to come up.
“He’s very embarrassed but understands that it’s important to do that. He’s very, very embarrassed and ashamed.”
Yes, damn right he should be ashamed. Here’s a reaction from one of my friends on Websleuths:
“I was at Mass this morning and spoke about this with a parishioner who can’t walk because of spinal stenosis and she was livid at his audacity. As you say, disability is not an excuse for murder and every disabled person I know would never ever wish to suggest so. Oscar really is the pits!”
11:40am – Oscar comes back from break dressed in a grey t-shirt and work-out shorts, with Nike logo. Can’t imagine their PR people are too happy about that.
Roux starts in with PTSD talk. Reminds the Court that Oscar is a broken man and isolated. But he has completed all rehabilitative programs that were required. Which is an interesting topic. The defense’s stance was always that Oscar has anxiety, but wasn’t a disordered person. He wasn’t aggressive nor was he narcissistic. Yet, he had to take anger management, assertiveness, conflict-handling and other behavioral courses. Doesn’t exactly stack up with a guy who supposedly had one bad night, does it?
These programs are designed to correct the offending behavior.
Roux next addresses the fact that Oscar’s been labeled a female abuser. It upsets him that he’s basically the poster child for gender violence. Oscar cups his face with his hands and covers his eyes while Roux tells the court that Oscar has always been opposed to abuse of women. Reeva would disagree with that.
So would Samantha Taylor …
Samantha said she was left with bruises and scars after the Blade Runner bit and pinched her, but she was also tortured mentally by him during the 18-month relationship. “I was really scared. He made me stand on the stairs and shouted at me. It was like I was on the naughty step.” “He’s a very insecure man. He’d call at all hours. I was scared of him at times because he had very bad anger issues. He was so possessive, he would look through my phone and find a photo from long ago or look on my Facebook, and often get quite angry.”
11:20am – As break begins, Carl is doing his usual schmoozing with the crowd. You’ll hear Nick’s first hands impressions of him in our day 3 wrap-up podcast. Carl seems oblivious to the fact that this is still a murder trial that’s taking place. He chats and jokes with the gallery, while playing with his phone. Meanwhile, the Pistorians munch on candy bars.
11:15am – Ok, I confess.. I just bailed on the last 15 minutes, but did catch Roux saying that Oscar has sworn off guns, wants nothing to do with them and has sold off his collection. It’s time for tea break. Masipa is comatose as usual. Other than saying – yes, Mr. Roux and yes, Mr. Nel, she hasn’t said a damn word the entire day. She also has no clue what time it is, and has to ask Roux. The camera pans over to Oscar who looks absolutely drugged to the gills. He’s been weeping on and off all morning. His face is red and he continually wipes his nose.
9:51am – Roux goes first with his arguments for the defense. He tells Masipa they’ve taken her judgment and compared it to the SCA’s judgement to reconcile the differences.
Roux says the Steenkamp’s pain has been aggravated by “enemies” who have promoted the accusation that Oscar intended to kill Reeva [Dolus Directus]. He also says the public [the enemies] have unfairly brought up Oscar’s prowess on the track. He says you can’t think of this case in terms of an Olympic athlete killing Reeva, it was a 1.5m man on stumps in the middle of the night. That’s a different person.
It’s a weird beginning to his arguments because he’s basically moaning about what the public thinks of Oscar. Who cares. I can’t tell you right now, Masipa obviously doesn’t doesn’t care what the public thinks. Just get to the point.
The first case he cites is the Visagie case. The man who shot and killed his daughter who had mistaken for an intruder stealing his car.
“There must be an unease when anyone tells you you must send Mr. Pistorius 15 years to jail when it’s a man on his stumps at 3 o’clock in the morning who did not want to kill his girlfriend. Who believed that at the time she was in the bedroom. Do you send that person 15 years to jail? How is that so far far removed from Vleis Visagie case?”
Roux mumbles quickly, there are differences, and then keeps rambling on… Woah, hang on there. Yes, there are MAJOR differences. Visagie didn’t pump 4 bullets into a person standing behind a door who was never seen nor spoke a word, on Oscar’s version.
“There was nothing in the SCA argument saying there was an argument; saying that she ran to the cubicle; saying that he wanted to shoot her. That’s not this Court’s case and it’s not the case in the SCA.” Oscar not knowing who was in the cubicle is an ‘undisturbed’ fact.
Then they talk about aim. Roux uses one of Oscar’s arguments from trial, that if he intended to kill he would have aimed higher. An incredibly lame argument when you consider 3 out of 4 shots hit his target, with the 4th shot only narrowly missing. I’d say Oscar’s aim is actually just fine.
“The SCA found that the accused must have foreseen that the accused must have been gambling with that person’s life. Not Reeva. It is irrelevant who was behind the door.”
“He was guilty of being irrational, that’s it.”
“The SCA found that although the accused may have been anxious, and although the accused was frightened, most certainly nobody was going to say he was frightened of Reeva, the deceased. For the persons still not wanting to believe this, are they saying he was frightened she might attack him? What would the thought process be.”
Well, let me explain the thought process simply. Yes, Oscar may have had a lot to be frightened about. Frightened that Reeva knew something he didn’t want anyone else to know which Reeva could have exposed. Frightened of something on his phone because we know his dipshit brother wiped it clean. Frightened that he’d lose his stature, his career, his contracts, his money; everything.
Roux whines that Visagie got sympathy but nooooo, not Mr. Pistorius. Boo hoo.
Roux also says: “We deal with moral blame-worthiness, and may we make this submission. Once
you have a reduced moral blame-worthiness, I cannot think that any court would say you qualify for the minimum prescribed sentence [15 years.] Because factually, it’s wonderful that you have remorse, and it’s wonderful that you have five children to look after and that you go to church everyday, and that you make money for charity. And additional smaller factors. What is really important in a case? You look at that person’s moral blame-worthiness to determine, who is it that I’m dealing with.”
Roux for some insane reason compares Oscar’s crime to a person who rapes a 3 year old, to say who has more moral blame. Huh?
“The fact that the accused is criminally liable for dolus eventualis, does not mean he thought the deceased was in the cubicle. It remains that he thought an intruder was in the toilet.”
Roux also takes a dig at the Molletts referring to them as “new investigators”… he questions why people are publicly putting new theories out there when all the experts in court agree that it was shots first, then the bat. The Pistorius’ nod their heads as Roux talks.
His next statement is a doozy. Roux refers to the lady in the grocery store [a story told in earlier sentencing testimony] who screamed when she saw Oscar, because she didn’t want to be in a store with a murderer… To that, Roux says:
“Murderer of what?”
Uh, murder of a person.
“He stands before you on murder and we know that what the man wanted to do in his vulnerable state was to protect himself and the deceased and he incorrectly in law fired four shots and is guilty of Dolus Eventualis murder. But it does not mean that he did not want to protect. It does not mean that he was not scared. It does not mean that he didn’t think it was an intruder. It does not mean that he wasn’t vulnerable. It does not mean that there were many supporting facts indicative it was an intruder. They all remain. You cannot ignore that.”
Now there’s mention of Scholtz and his big F-up saying that Oscar now accepts that he did intentionally shot. Interesting that Roux uses the words “accepts” and not “admits.” Kind of a big difference. Oh, and also… it’s not like Oscar got his ass up on the stand and confessed anything. His ding dong psychologist ran his mouth a little too much, and in an effort to make it seem like Oscar was remorseful, let it slip that yes, Oscar intended to shoot. Slippery, Roux. Very slippery.
“It’s not a third version, it’s an acceptance.”
Roux brings up the following [undisputed] mitigating factors:
- Personal circumstances of the accused [Roux references page numbers for Masipa to view;]
- Accused is first offender.
- Accused is remorseful.
- Accused lost a person who he genuinely loved as a result of his unlawful shooting. He must live with that for the rest of his life. Self-punishment/inescapable guilt. The state has shown compassion for this type of human tragedy before – Visagie.
- Accused apologized to the parents of the deceased after making concerted efforts previously to do so in private.
- The conduct of the accused after the incident shows that the accused wanted the deceased to live.
- The accused can never resume his career. He’s punished himself and will punish himself for the rest of his life far more than any court of law can punish him.
“He lost his future with his chosen loved one. He has paid physically with losing his health. He has paid emotionally. We say he’s a shell of the man that he was. He has paid financially. He’s left independent of others. He’s paid socially. He’s judged and vilified by many and verbally attacked. He’d paid by the loss of his identity. He’s a person filled with self-loathing. He’s paying constantly.” But, he notes, I’m not taking away from the grief of the parents.
Roux says it should be taken into consideration… Oscar can perform public service in Reeva’s memory and notes some of his charitable works. He’s changed the public’s perception of disabled people. He’s ‘desperate’ to speak to the Steenkamps. He’s studying with the London School of Economics [and online course] which he wouldn’t have access to in prison.
Roux says Scholtz “produced a second report and we say it’s a report of exemplary scientific rigor.”
“He [Oscar] is not a psychopath.”
9:42am – Roux reads quotes from Reeva’s friends and wants Kim to comment on them:
Sam Greyvenstein: “Reeva told me that Oscar was amazing and that he treated her like gold. And that she thought they had a lot in common. Reeva told me she really liked Oscar. The relationship slowly progressed and became more serious. Reeva often mentioned how happy she was and that Oscar made her feel that way. Reeva confided in me that even though she and Oscar had not been together for very long, she really loved Oscar and she could see a future with him. She told me that if Oscar asked her to marry him, she would probably say yes.”
Kim responded that she didn’t know Sam G at all [even though Roux says she was one of Reeva’s best friends]. Sam was Justin Devaris’ long-time girlfriend. And Justin was part of the hot-head, car-loving, skirt-chasing crowd that Oscar got involved with in the last few years prior to meeting Reeva. Justin and Sam are actually the people that got Oscar and Reeva hooked up. It seems like Reeva didn’t talk much about that group to her family as she did about some of her other friends. Can’t blame her. It’s not unusual to have our “party” friends and our true blue friends segmented to some degree.
Kim said she and Reeva were as close as sisters, and she asked Reeva if she was happy. Reeva just shrugged her shoulders, smiled, and said we’ll speak later. “I could see there was a fondness for Oscar, but I didn’t see any love.”
Here’s Oscar’s weepy expression….
It’s really sick how the defense has exploited Reeva’s feelings to save the future of the man that killed her. Reminds me of when Oscar told the Steenkamps during his testimony at trial that Reeva went to bed loved that night. To this day, that’s still one of the most infuriating things I’ve heard from his mouth.
Roux also read some quotes from TV interviews with Gina. Kim says she knows Gina very well and as far as she’s concerned, Gina was Reeva’s best friend. This is something that’s in contrast to what June told us. These interviews were given on February 27, 2013 [13 days after the murder.]
Gina Myers to Mandy Wiener: “She was happy. I think in every relationship there’s ups and downs, and you know, stuff that you go through when it’s a new relationship. But everything was normal.”
Gina Myers to Andrew Harding: “I did [think she was happy.]”
Kim says, “I know she liked Oscar” and doesn’t dispute that. But she doesn’t think Reeva loved him. Roux can read all the quotes he wants, the fact remains they had only been together for a few months. I sense something a little different in Roux. It feels like he doesn’t have quite the same level of passion in his arguments as I’ve seen in the past.
There was also a moment where Roux screwed up the evidence. Roux points Kim towards the Piers Morgan interview in 2013. Kim told Piers about when Reeva lived in Jo’burg she confided in her about an abusive relationship. Roux says – “that was your previous evidence, and we know now you could not say that.”
Nel objects and tells Roux to double check “that relationship” because it’s not Oscar she’s referring to. Kim confirms, she was talking about one of Reeva’s first relationships. Doh! Roux apologizes a few times, somewhat flustered – I think some legal intern is gonna get their ass chewed out after this.
He finishes off with one last quote from a February 20, 2013 interview where Kim talks about how she first learned Reeva was dating Oscar. “When it first came out, there was rumors. When she attended the one function with him, and I remember I sent her a message and I said, ‘is it true cuz?’ and at the time she said no, but he’s a very nice guy. And that’s basically it. She never really spoke much to me about him other than that.” Kim agrees, that’s true.
Roux ends like a petulant child and reminds the court, and Kim, that Reeva said I love you in her Valentine’s card. Kim doesn’t really acknowledge him, and that’s it. Witnesses are done.
No offense to Kim, because she handled herself well against Roux, but this testimony was kind of ho hum. She was up and off the stand in, I don’t know, maybe 15 minutes. Kinda crazy for the last witness of this saga.
9:40am – Direction examination was very short. Roux doesn’t mince words on cross. Basically in a nutshell, he says he was nice to Barry yesterday, but don’t expect the same from him today. He wants to bring the focus back to Oscar and wants there to be a true interpretation of Oscar’s relationship with Reeva. Oh, this should be good.
9:32am – Kim says she and her family are coping but her three children have suffered a lot. They have issues which she doesn’t want to openly discuss in court.
Kim saw her father (Reeva’s uncle) cry for the first time when Reeva died, and the second time when he heard Kim had to testify again. “It’s very unfair what our family’s been put through.” Makes me wonder what Masipa thinks of that. Of course, if she hadn’t screwed up the original verdict, none of them would be in the courtroom today, almost 2 years later.
As far as what Kim thinks about the ITV interview which will be aired June 24:
“I’m not happy about that at all. I just think it’s very unfair to want to talk to the world about your version when you had the opportunity in court to do so.”
“All we’ve ever wanted was the truth. I don’t feel there was an apology from him. I don’t feel the true version came out.”
9:30am – I’m surprised to see Kim Martin, who gave very moving testimony during the trial, back on the stand as the last witness for the state. I was really thinking it would be June based on the fact that Nel said this witness could potentially take a few hours. Kim, not knowing Oscar at all, is really more of a character reference for Reeva, which is great, but she doesn’t have information that could be picked apart at any great length.
Aside from June, the other person I was really hoping to hear from was Samantha Taylor, or her mom, Trish. I know the Taylors take a fair amount of heat from the public in terms of their intentions, mostly because Trish wrote a book. Which, by the way, if you’ve never read An Accident Waiting to Happen, I highly recommend it. There’s some seriously crazy shit in there. Nick and I have occasionally spoken with Trish and I believe her to be a sincere, well-meaning person. I think she and Samantha have moved on and want nothing to do with this whole fiasco.
9:28am – Nick made it to court just in time, after needing to pull over for a chat with the cops. He got away O.J.-style and managed to find his seat without having to ask the Pistorius family for directions 🙂
Meanwhile, other court reporters are doing this…
After Barry Steenkamp gave emotional testimony on Tuesday, Carl gave a comment to his [his rumored girlfriend] Karyn Maughan.