“Oscar is a person who does not make mistakes” – Henke Pistorius
Thinking I was still fuzzy from sleep this morning, I reread the Henke Pistorius article. Was there something I was missing? Was there some pop-up covering a few paragraphs that would make what I was reading make sense? After a third read, I realized it wasn’t me. These were the schizophrenic ramblings of a hot-headed man. He’s also kind of a nutter.
The following excerpts are from news24.com:
Scarcely 24 hours after the National Prosecuting Authority filed its appeal against Oscar’s six-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, Henke has finally broken his silence in an exclusive interview with City Press’ sister newspaper, Rapport.
“I am now speaking out for Oscar. I am standing up for my child. I remained silent for too long. I stood back. Now that’s over,” said Henke, himself an attorney.
Why wait so long? It’s been three years – a trial, a sentencing, an appeal, and another sentencing, have come and gone. But, hold the fort! Henke Pistorius is an attorney?? Did I read that correctly? WTF. If that crazy revelation is true, what does that say about Henke’s absence in court?
During the court case, Henke was seldom seen in the High Court in Pretoria. He was never part of the solid Pistorius family, standing squarely behind Oscar, something which has raised much speculation.
Henke says, don’t rush to judgement. He was watching from the advocate’s office down the road. But if you’re an attorney, and your son’s on trial for murder, shouldn’t you be there in court helping?!
One very good reason for Henke to not be in court was Oscar scapegoating his dad with the ownership of the .38 ammo that was found [and illegally possessed] in his safe. Henke refused to sign a police document assuming ownership. Which then, of course, makes it pretty awkward to sit in court and say hey son, I’m here for you.
I always wondered what part of the father-son estrangement story was true and what part of it was being exaggerated to further the poor me my life and family sucked narrative in court. Although I do believe their family is quite divided and troubled, I’m also leery of how they use adversity to their advantage.
“I don’t have to defend myself, that I’m an absent father. Let them say so. It doesn’t matter.”
“I am part of the family; we go out and eat together. But [Oscar’s uncle] Arnold and I are no longer close, the way we were when were schoolboys causing trouble and getting hidings together. Priorities began to differ, that’s all I can say.”
I think Arnold must be dreaming of strangling Henke right about now. For three long years, it’s been his mission to balance a wobbly house of cards. Certainly with Masipa, Arnold has been successful in his efforts. Now at the tail end of the game, Henke rolls up on the scene like a drunken sailor. He accuses Oscar’s defense team of being a bunch of schmucks and claims to have inside knowledge of the case that the family ignored. Oh, I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Pistorius house today!
He saw his son in jail a few times, but the long, open-hearted discussion between father and son he had so hoped for never happened.
“We hug each other, but not a lot is said. Because I am the father, and a mistake was made, a tragic mistake. There isn’t really anything more to say.”
If there’s nothing more to say, why do this interview?
Now his frustration with Oscar’s advocate, Barry Roux, has finally boiled over when he read Nel’s appeal arguments in the media. According to Nel, sentencing must be focused on the fact that a person who was behind a toilet door and who presented no immediate danger to the accused was shot.
“Rubbish! For God’s sake, forget this guessing game of who was standing behind the toilet door, where and how. If Reeva was trying to get away – the State alleged she was running away from a ‘gun-wielding Oscar’ – she would have hidden in the opposite corner, or next to the wall alongside the door. She wouldn’t have been sitting on the toilet.”
So what exactly is Henke saying? There are so many things about this statement that frankly confuse the shit out of me. First, it’s common knowledge that Reeva wasn’t sitting on the toilet when she was shot. Second, it’s also fact that she wasn’t hiding in the corner of the cubicle. So what is he implying? Is he saying Oscar knew Reeva was there, and if he is, how does that help Oscar’s defense? If that’s not what he’s saying, then it still doesn’t make sense because regardless of who’s there, an unidentified person behind the door is very much a ‘guessing game.’
Henke claims that he performed calculations on the four bullet holes in the toilet door – measuring a square around the bullet holes and comparing it to how much space a person of Reeva’s height would have to stand – and reached his own shocking conclusion.
“If you look at the trajectory of the bullets, it’s clear: If she was standing in the opposite corner, or next to the wall alongside the door, the chances of her being hit were less than 1%.
Less than 1%? Ummm… care to explain how you came up with that very precise, very scientific percentage? Let’s take a look at the image above. Based on my calculations, I’d say Henke is… oh about, 100% wrong.
“That’s irrespective of the fact that the bullets went through the door at a height of lower than 1m and all of them had a downward trajectory, which would hardly have been able to fatally injure a standing person. Now, 1% is miles from the reality Nel is trying to create.
So let’s see if we understand this correctly. Is Henke implying that Oscar believed the person was cowering in the corner and therefore, firing into the very calculated “squared” area of the door, was just a warning? Did he forget about the part of his son’s defense where the shooting was not deliberate, he didn’t have time to think, and basically was randomly firing while shitting his pants? That’s kinda different than shooting into a specific “squared” box with the intention of missing your target. Most importantly, Oscar didn’t miss.
“God only knows how something so obvious was overlooked. To me, it’s totally inexplicable.”
Henke revealed his findings to Roux; Oscar’s attorney, Brian Webber; and his brother Arnold, but it was repeatedly ignored.
I can’t imagine why Henke was ignored.
“The advice I gave them was simply wiped away. There was no reaction to the request I made as a father.”
Henke even went to Arnold’s office to try to speak to him.
“I couldn’t, he was in a long meeting.” Henke then put his conclusions in a letter and followed them up with a phone call.
“It’s shocking, actually. The cardinal questions were not asked! I’m . . . bedonnerd [enraged] about it, to put it lightly. Furious with everyone who was involved because I said it over and over.”
Henke said he even told Roux a few days before the verdict that he hoped this oversight didn’t become Oscar’s Achilles heel.
“And then that was precisely what happened. In her judgment, Judge Thokozile Masipa said three times: the toilet was so small, Oscar knew that if he was shooting through the door he would probably hit a person.”
Even the sympathetic judge can see clearly on this one point – that shooting into the cubicle would put somebody in grave danger.
Henke, who was joined by defence ballistic expert Wollie Wolmarans during Rapport’s interview, also spoke of his unhappiness with one of the most unsettling moments in the murder trial, when Nel showed a video in which Pistorius was seen shooting a watermelon and then asking him if he didn’t know that Reeva’s head would also “explode, like a watermelon”.
The gun in the video is 10 times more powerful than the murder weapon, says Wolmarans.
So, Reeva’s head wounds were not that significant? Because the watermelon comparison is not an exact comparison, we should forget what Oscar did to Reeva’s head? You’ve lost me.
“The personal pleasure that he [Nel] visibly drew from [the case], isn’t just a reflection on who he is, but detracts from the critical importance of pure, fair thinking in our otherwise proud justice system. For anybody to apply ‘their own type of justice’ with falsehood, lies and twisted ‘facts’ doesn’t contribute to or build our proud Roman-Dutch law.”
Is anybody in South Africa really proud of their justice system? Oscar’s entire defense is built on the terror that stems from a society that’s not successfully addressing crime and punishment.
And this whole notion of Nel enjoying this process, dragging Reeva’s family through hell for three years, is based on what? Unlike the Pistorius family, we’ve never witnessed Nel giving press conferences or promoting himself outside of court.
But the best part of the entire article is this…
Oscar is a person who does not make mistakes, his father insists.
Didn’t he just say like a minute ago that it was all a ‘tragic mistake’? Has Henke been hitting the sauce? What’s the opposite of a mistake? The opposite is being deliberate. It reminds me of something that Henke said to Oscar in a letter that Oscar published in his book Blade Runner. While reminiscing about his son’s younger years, he said… “you were fearless.” That’s the Oscar we’ve come to know. Determined, fearless… deliberate. Thanks for reminding us, Henke.
His biggest punishment, which he will have to carry for the rest of his life: He is responsible for the death of his lover.
I also found this statement to be telling. Henke doesn’t refer to Reeva as a beloved girlfriend, as the woman that Oscar loved dearly, or the woman that Oscar wanted to share a home with… no, Henke refers to Reeva as Oscar’s “lover.” It speaks volumes about the value Henke assigns to women.
Is it really so hard to imagine where Oscar gets it from; the narcissism, the entitlement, the justifications? After this mind-numbing rant from the guy who’s been mostly silent for the past three years, all I could think was… like father, like son.
My son should have got no more than punishment for manslaughter.