85 Replies to “Inside Oscar Pistorius’ House – The Today Show Video”

  1. So as I suspected, the bedroom, passageway and bathroom are tiny. Even if one spoke from the bedroom you would be heard in the bathroom especially in the quiet of 3am.

    He is telling us that he screamed and shouted and RS never once uttered a word, no OP its me, no help- nothing that would let him know it was her?
    Thats a dam terrible lie from OP and even more than before I am convinced his version is false.

    Someone here posted it, cant remember who, but they quite rightly questioned why Masipa and/or Nel never went to the scene to see for themselves?

  2. I once also mentioned that in OP version RS actions were also not reasonable. Loud window noises, and she is not alerted. He doesnt even bother to ask her. She goes to the loo and he fumbles with the fans, she doesnt switch on the lights? She also very stealthily gets out of bed, No sheets or bed noise heard. Like a phantom she made her way to the loo. She couldnt even acknowledge to him when he called out to him a meter/2 away in the bathroom? He shoots and she is quiet after the first bullet? She is quiet as the other gunshots fire through the door, even as another bullet shatters her arm? HER SILENCE throughout is proof enough to me that OP is lying.

  3. I also fail to understand why after all the commotion he expected to find her still lying pleasantly in bed. He didnt even consider that she may have escaped via the bedroom door? Why would she, he says, when the entire incident took place in the bathroom? What further proof does one need to show that he knew she was in the toilet all along!

  4. I can’t believe how small his room and bathroom are! They looked much bigger in the photo’s. The passageway isn’t even that long.
    To think that Reeva stayed quiet is unbelievable!

  5. Brenda Wardle (a SA legal analysis) thinks there is sufficient evidence to find OP guilty of murder. Two things I took from this – she indicates she sat through the trial and she thought from looking at OP – he was faking his reactions. She also says there is an irritating precedence that allows a drunken boyfriend to stab multiple times to death his girlfriend without being murder with intent and she thinks that Judge Masipa may be bound by that decision if she believes that case to be relevant. She is also promoting her book. Personally I am convinced of her knowledge in law but less convinced she has analysed the OP case in detail. Anyway here is the link.

  6. As Mrs. Berger testified, she could not understand how Mr. Pistorius did not hear the woman scream that she heard 177 meters away, in a ‘petrifying, blood curdling’ screams? When cross examined by Roux, he said why would the accused yell for help if he was about to shoot ? Mrs. Berger said , you need to ask that to Mr. Pistorius , since that is what I heard!

  7. This video was very telling…the bedroom exit was iondeed much closer for OP to wabble out of (disabled or not), rather than wabble on his stumps down the passage, turn right into the bath area to confront the ” unknown” and to shoot without knowing what lies beyond which contradicts a gunsman knowledge of when and how to use a gun as per evidence presented by the man who issued him the gun license.

  8. 1) Did OP believe it was RS behind the door before he fired?
    a) Yes: Dolus Directus as the ONLY option … as the WHOLE OP testimony would fall apart.
    b) No: Go to 2)

    2) OP believed there was an intruder behind the door. Was it …
    a) Dolus Directus?
    b) If No – was it Dolus Eventialis?
    c) If No – was it Culpable Homicide?
    d) If No – acquittal of the first charge.
    *************************************************8

    It looks like Judge Masipa will now focus on 2). It looks like she might go for 2a) or 2b)

  9. So far Judge Masipa has been masterful. She is saying that the State could have done a much better job – that certain things that don’t add up have to remain unresolved because the state didn’t bring sufficient attention to them and that the onus was on the state to do this. She is suggesting that Reeva had to make a call to the police because she had plenty of opportunity to do so according to OP testimony. She is implying that OP NEVER instructed Reeva to call the police – that this bit must be a lie … but that she has to leave this matter unresolved because it was the States onus to examine this.

  10. Judge Masipa is suggesting that SA Law restricts her to consider OPs intent towards Reeva as regards dolus. That she can’t consider intent towards an “intruder” as regards dolus. I don’t understand that … I thought she was going to consider dolus towards the intruder but she seems to be suggesting he was within his rights to kill the intruder. I am a bit puzzled on this aspect.

    1. It seems to me she has rejected murder because she believes the State has not removed reasonable doubt that OP believed he was acting lawfully in shooting an intruder. That if OP believed he was acting lawfully in shooting an intruder he cannot be found guilt of murder. She is suggesting that this action was unlawful but that SA Law forces her to reject the murder charge.

    2. Specifically she said that the State did not remove reasonable doubt that OP believed himself to be acting lawfully in shooting (erroneously) an intruder because he was in fear of his life. That is to say she is forced to accept that OP was in fear of his life and that he was shooting an intruder … because she believes the State has not removed to a reasonable doubt that aspect of OPs testimony. She uses common cause evidence to support this decision.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-29153993

    1. I just want to pull back from the above statement. Although I believe it looks like Judge Masipa is heading towards a Culpable Homicide decision, she will be guided by SA Law and precedence. This might possibly result in a straight acquittal for the first charge rather than culpable homicide – although I am certain she would like to make a culpable homicide verdict (rather than acquittal). I say this because I don’t understand why she has delayed until tomorrow her decision … unless she is going to discuss legal precedent …

      With regard Dolus Eventualis – I believe she didn’t explain herself well and I believe that was the reason for the criticism & possibly an emergency meeting with Nel after lunch. However, I believe a little reflection on what she said reveals what she meant in terms of her argument against Dolus Eventualis with respect to the “person” (intruder) behind the door. This I have mentioned above.

  11. Doesn’t make sense to me…Murder dolus eventualis ruled out because it could not be ascertained that Oscar knew, that by shooting through the door, he could well have killed the person standing behind it. Yet in the reasonable man test for culpable homicide, he has been found to be negligent for this very reason!

    1. It is precisely because Judge Masipa’s decision doesn’t make sense to many people that I originally made a view that this should not have been broadcast, especially in the manner it has been broadcast as entertainment.

      By reading the reaction there is clearly a lot of very angry members of the public out there … some of whom have made it known that if for some reason some form of vigilante action was taken on OP … they would be understanding of that and perhaps sympathetic to it …especially if it seems to them that OP has otherwise evaded justice.

      For those of you that believe there has been a miscarriage of justice (although Judge Masipa has yet to make her final judgement) – I don’t know what can be done … apart from perhaps work towards gaining a law qualification and attempt to change the system from within.

    2. My own view is that this type of situation will always occur in gun cultures – where the state allows citizens to carry guns and allows citizens the right to kill other people in the guise of self defence.

      In the UK we get something very similar with regard to killing by “reckless” driving – there are some examples were the law allows killers to walk free and that creates a similar type of public protest.

      With regard to OP I still think Judge Masipa is going to give OP significant jail time. But I don’t know how much.

  12. I have said it before, I had my doubts masipa had spent enough time with the evidence.
    I am disturbed by her judgment thus far. I really think she has misdirected herself and I hope Nel appeals.

    1. From what I understand from comments in various forums, State can appeal if there is incorrect application of law – but what happens to evidence discarded citing either no reason at all or very flimsy reasons? Will they be reviewed too if there is an appeal? If not, that has to be a big flaw in the system.

  13. The general consensus from the legal fraternity in Johannesburg and Pretoria is that she has got it wrong and they are expecting alot of criticism towards her regarding the judgment.

  14. Juror13: I came across your blog relatively recently, just before the HOA’s. Enjoyed your summaries and your analysis of evidence enormously. I had watched most of the trial, and for those that I watched, Your assessment tallied with mine mostly. So for the parts that I did not watch (and also whenever I wanted to watch parts of the trial again), I just read your summaries instead, thus saving me a lot of time. So a big thank you for all these posts.

    After today, it would be great to have all the holes in Masipa’s conclusions in one place. So that’s a request for a future post. Whenever you have time, of course.

    1. Maybe someone can reassess the States Head of Arguments and explain why it failed to remove reasonable doubts on the main charge.

      There are periods in Judge Masipa’s statement where she seems positively frustrated at certain perceived failures in the States arguments and strategy. She clearly said there were some very strange and fishy issues with regard to what happened and she listed them … but she said that they had to remain unresolved because the state didn’t follow them up … she clearly said that it is SA law that it was the Onus of the State to address them. That OP didn’t even need to take to the witness stand.

      She said that it she was surprised that it was the Defence that made use of the telephone data to create a timeline … and that effectively it was a MAJOR weakness of the State not to involve themselves with a timeline … this occurred quite early on. I saw peoples reactions when the defence brought out a timeline in their closing statement … there was some concern from some that the STate should have done something with it … engaged with it etc.

  15. I think that the 40min delay after lunch and the abrupt end to proceedings tells its own story; she got out there quick! I think somewhere along the line Masipa realised Nel was right in that she had not applied the law correctly. I believe she stopped short as she was about to hand a soft cul/hom sentence to OP, but decided to possibly review it.

    She dismissed a lot of things out of hand, like the type of ammunition he CHOOSE to load his gun with. How could he not foresee that four of those into a small space would not be lethal, and that he had no lethal intent???

    What`s the point in taking those gun proficiency tests to cover this very situation, then ignore when said gun owner goes against it??

    For god sake, Masipa said that Pistorious had a “plethora of defences”, then she picked one out for him and let him off!!!

    This has been a very strange day

  16. Does anybody think there will be or should be a campaign to remove Judge Masipa as a high court judge? I believe there are few women judges and even fewer black women judges – I think I read there were two in South Africa.

    Does anyone think she may be shifted out sometime over the next 12 months? Does anyone think she should be shifted out?

  17. I am completely astounded and disappointed with Judge Masipa’s ruling:

    **The manner in which she totally disregarded the ear witnesses evidence that they heard a woman scream. So she has accepted that Pistorius screams like a woman? Ok.

    **She has accepted his story that he believes there was an intruder that entered his house. Why? Because the window was open?? He didnt intend to kill REEVA because he was emotional after the fact.

    **I don’t know if I missed it, but why was there no mention of how the bedroom was depicted in the photos? Duvet on the floor, jeans on top, fan in front of the sliding doors. Rather she mentioned at the beginning that issues regarding police contamination are ‘insignificant’.

    **Captain Mangena’s evidence that there was a pause between the first and remaining shots. That she would have had time to scream. How could she just accept Oscar’s version, that he fired 4 shots in rapid succession, when it was initially argued that he ‘double-tapped’. and the quick succession was claimed only after Mangena presented his evidence?

    I just can not believe that she has overlooked this, and other evidence in such a way. And to add insult to injury, she didn’t even find him guilty of dolus eventualis. I have NO WORDS.

    1. Reply to Firefly

      **So she has accepted that Pistorius screams like a woman?**
      No. She has accepted that those witnesses were mistaken in believing it was a woman screaming and that it was a woman’s scream.

      **She has accepted his story that he believes there was an intruder that entered his house. **
      Yes. Read the Defence’s Head of Arguments

      ** why was there no mention of how the bedroom was depicted in the photos? **
      Basically she believes this is not significant to a decision on the charge.

      **Captain Mangena’s evidence that there was a pause between the first and remaining shots. That she would have had time to scream. **
      Basically rejected as speculation from Mangena – i.e. can’t be proved.

  18. Just listened through the following:

    I am satisfied that Judge Masipa has been unclear with regard rejecting Dolus Eventualis and has perhaps muddled up her arguments. I am satisfied that the State could pick Judge Masipa up on it in an appeal, but I suspect as I have mentioned above, it’s not going to change her decision – she may just have to rearrange her argument … and because of that Nel may not appeal. I suspect the meeting after lunch was Nel complaining to Judge Masipa.

  19. I had a strange dream and it goes like this

    Judge Masipa
    … and thus I find the defendant guilty of culpable homicide and sentence him to ten-thousand years in jail. Moving on to the charge of firing a gun in a public place the defendant has already pleaded guilty and thus I sentence him to be taken from this place to a place of execution where he will be hanged by the neck until dead.

  20. Looking back at OP’s plea explanation this decision is clearly legally flawed.

    In his own explanation he states that fearing an attack, and believing the intruder was about to come out – he shot at the intruder four times. In his own testimony he explained how he fetched the gun (with hollowpoint ammo) in order to defend himself & reeva from attack.

    This is of course the essence of a self defence argument. Applying lethal force in defence.

    So to then find he applied lethal force in the direction of the intruder without foreseeing death would result is manifestly incorrect based on the facts as the judge found them AND the defence’s own submissions.

    On his own evidence he shot to stop the intruder.

  21. The explanation is all in the defences head of arguments and closing statements. Read that, understand that, then everyone will have a better understanding of the Judges decision. As has been mentioned before I see no step be step rebuttal of it from commentators on this site, websleuth’s or elsewhere.

    The issue is reasonable doubt. If reasonable doubt is provided and cannot be refuted then the Judge is legally bound to accept it.

  22. So I think the maximum sentence he can receive is 15 (culpable homicide) + 5 (guilt of charge 3b) = 20 years? Now the next month I believe the Judge will receive arguments from the State and arguments from the defence as to what the exact sentence should be?

    1. Based on what I’ve seen over the past two days, his sentence will be light, in my opinion.

      Once I can cool off and formulate sentences that don’t begin with the F word, I will write about my thoughts. I look forward to discussing with everyone. But right now, I’m just unbelievably shocked & sad for Reeva’s loves ones and the people of SA.

      1. Hi Lisa!
        I myself sweared the last 2 days like never before. Lot’s of f***, wtf, wth, un-f***ing-believable & so on.
        Couldn’t sleep whole night while turning around & around same questions – not only Masipas ‘argumentation’, as questionable as it obviously is – but also devasted by my lack of knowledge of human beings – how could I be so terribly wrong about Masipa?
        I thought she’s sharp. Trusted in her.
        She never challenged OPs intruder-story. Never, even a suggestion of anticipating for once, he might have made it up from the beginning, from scratch, in the moments after the shots.
        My co-twitterettes & me all feel shellshocked, gutted, unbelievably disappointed & so sorry 4 Reeva & Steencamps&friends.
        Still a little hope for the 13 october – maybe Masipa surprises us all with a really stiff sentence, showing & reprimanding Nel not have done his job right.
        On the other hand – further evidence she might also have dismissed – she dismissed so much, what seemed valid to us.
        I still don’t get it.
        CU
        Alfred

  23. I accept the argument that for trials broadcast live to the general public, the public should have a democratic right to decide on the final decision through a public phone in or similar (electronic voting).

    As we see here, the public seems to have reacted with bewilderment and anger, and there is a growing sense of disenfranchised from the decision making process.

    The risk is public disorder and attempts at vigilante action on the defendant Mr Oscar Pistorius, on the defence team, Mr Roux et al, and on the Judge, Mrs Masipa.

    At the very least a counselling service should be provided for the public so that those who have been emotionally affected perhaps even emotionally traumatized by this whole process can get support and advice.

    As we are repeatedly told – the public as a collective is never wrong. It is why western society and the free world is based on democratic principles.

    1. Just to add I think it is unfair on the public and there should be a means for which the public can have its voice listened to. I think there is a level of irresponsibility in the decision to broadcast this live.

    2. Maybe it could be a service in which to explain clearly to the public the decision. There is a general principle “Not only must Justice be done; it must also be seen to be done” … which recognises that the law “belongs to the people”.

  24. A point was made – the fact OP was given bail in the first place – might mean that he will be given a sentence towards the minimal end of the spectrum of possible sentences now available.

    I would like to add a comment on the State’s case. Nel is considered the best in the business and I think maybe it would be unfair to criticise him without knowing exactly the issues he was dealing with.

    I think the fact there were witnesses saying they heard a women screaming meant that Nel had to go with premeditated murder. It was only later after the State had already made their main case that the telephone data became available, Ultimately it was the telephone data that allowed the Defence to construct a time line that provided OP with the reasonable doubt needed for the court to accept his version of the events of the shooting.

    1. On reflection it was tragic that the State built up their case around witness reports of a woman’s scream. It was this that led them to ignore other matters that may have been more significant and resistant to reasonable doubt (of at least dolus eventualis)

      1. I don’t necessarily see it that way. I thought the witness accounts of both the screams and the cries were very powerful, and quite frankly a clear differentiation between what happened before the shots and OP crying afterwards. Perhaps the mistake that the State made was to assume that the Judge would apply common sense.

      2. If the Judge had agreed that there was no reasonable doubt that there was a woman screaming then it would be a straight Dolus Directus.

        The fact that the Judge believed there was reasonable doubt suggests that the Defence’s argument was at least compelling.

        The Judge herself added to it with her own reasoning by saying the witnesses had likely been influenced by what they had heard being reported before coming forward and the couples would have discussed the matter between themselves before giving their testimonies.

        She was very quick in dismissing this – I thought she would spend a little more time on it.

        The key aspect was she accepted the defences time line and said that the State also accepted the time line … she asked the State when the Defence was going through it in their closing statement and the State said they agreed the telephone record as common cause.

    2. I think the issue is whether the state can change their approach completely if later information reveals their original case was unsustainable. They must have known about the time line but had to ignore it because their woman’s scream argument was inconsistent with it. Something that at the beginning seemed like a rock on which to get the conviction of murder turned out to be poison for their case.

  25. Overall I think the main issue is over jail time and how many years OP will get.

    The main issue over which the public is aggrieved is that at the very least OP was grossly negligent and extraordinarily reckless in the killing, the shooting to death of RS. There is a real sense that some form of punishment acceptable to the public is needed.

    Rumours are we are going to get some stories from his former girlfriend and maybe others as regards his alleged extremely reckless behaviour with guns … and the fear and certainty that if he were to continue in this behaviour he was liable to shoot an innocent person dead.

  26. If a judge were to say to an accused’s counsel that they must warn him/her and his guardian that there must not be any further complications before sentence arguments, would anyone see that as a “heads up” or “advice” and therefore a bias in favour of the accused?

    1. Absolutely! Her bias in Oscar’s favor is unmistakable. I have never in my life heard a Judge tell an accused that he was a terrible witness, was evasive, negligent, etc and then turn around and discount every other witness and choose to believe his story and his story only.

  27. A comment made by “sorrell skye” regarding the difference between the Dolus Eventualis & the Culpable Homicide Charge is helpful.

    As Dolus Eventualis is a murder charge it is important to establish a guilty mind (mens rea) before this charge can be accepted. That is a Subjective Test … and Judge Masipa found this charge to be unproven beyond a reasonable doubt … so she found OP not guilty of Dolus Eventualis.

    Culpable Homicide is a charge that relates to the Reasonable Person. This is an Objective test based on what the accused did – his Actions rather than the mind. On the question of his Actions Judge Masipa found him guilty – hence guilty of Culpable Homicide.

    1. Remember Judge Masipa repeatedly went through all OP statements; before I could think I shot, before I could think I shot, I had no time to think, the gun went off and I had ringing in my ears … she used this to help her come to a decision that there wasn’t mens rea when it came to the killing of the mistaken intruder behind the door.

      Rightly or wrongly she felt that the state hadn’t removed to a reasonably doubt this aspect of OPs testimony and his quotes immediately after the shooting, plus at the bail hearing.

    2. I agree that this is an excellent explanation of the differences, and will be using it in my post about the verdict. Where I am having issues is that the Judge’s “subjective” interpretation of the evidence presented towards Murder is so incredibly UNREASONABLE, in my opinion. I don’t believe that her logic is reasonably, possibly sane.

      1. She is stripping out a lot of everything and focusing on reasonable doubt at the moment of the shooting. This was what James said it would all boil down to in the end. Judge Masipa said it was on onus of the state to remove reasonable doubt on this part of the OP testimony. The time line is absolutely critical in this period structured around the phone records and the arrival of people when OP was carrying Reeva down the stairs,

        I think in time you will come round to at least seeing Judge Masipa’s reasoning even if you remain unconvinced, It’s all a little raw at the moment.

  28. William Booth makes a good point: in his opinion Masipa should hand down a lengthy term of imprisonment to send out a strong message re shootings of this nature. One needs to consider what affect this very public decision will have on the behaviour of others in South African society in particular on reckless behaviour with guns.

    However as previously mentioned above – it seems unlikely this will happen.

  29. I am in the camp with Professor Grant and Co that this decision is legally incorrect.

    Whether you subjectively foresee death does not require that you stop in the heat of the moment and think “wait will this kill someone?”

    It simply means did OP understand the consequences of shooting 4 shots at a person – would it possibly kill them. Of course the answer to that question can only be yes.

    The whole point of the subjective element is to exclude scenarios where effectively you kill someone by accident.

    So for example if he deliberately fired into the top of the cubicle over the intruders head to scare them but got it wrong and shot them in the head – the subjective test is not met. Because he was trying not to shoot them and subjectively did not foresee death.

    The Judge seems to have weaseled by saying OP shot at the door which is frankly bizarre.

    She also ruled out that the gun was fired accidentally/involuntarily.

    So I am hopefully a competent appellate court will correct this embarrassing blunder.

    I have seen decisions like this before where a Court bends over backwards to each the “right” decision – i get the feeling that is the motivation here.

    She wants to hit him with manslaughter and thus reached all kinds of bizarre findings to get to that point.

    Sadly the factual findings will have to stand but I am hopeful that on the face of the judges own findings this is open and shut murder via Dolus Eventualis

  30. “Clearly he did not subjectively foresee this as a possibility that he would kill the person behind the door -” WHAT are you saying ???

    this statement alone tells the whole tale … how could she make such absurd statement and telling it as if it obvious ?? “clearly” ?

    Please do share your thoughts Juror13 once you are able to comprehend this … My heart aches for the Steenkamp family …

  31. At this rate is it not a fair assumption that whatever the sentence, it will be wholly suspended on condition he does not kill again and/or found handling guns in public? OP may not ever spend a night in jail.

  32. Reasonable doubt is a red herring as far as Dolus Eventualis is concerned

    The test is only whether he subjectively foresaw the possibility of death of someone

    He already admitted to shooting at the person in the toilet 4 times.

    So the only question is whether he knew the possible consequences included death.

    The appeal court will examine whether the judge applied the test correctly to the facts determined.

    1. Without a doubt according to OP’s testimony he acted in a contradictory manner –> shouting for the “intruder” to get out of the house and then shooting after perceiving a noise. I suspect that he never called out to Reeva to call the police … it may be if he did believe there was an intruder he went in all guns blazing … or at least being very willing to want to shoot.

      It will be interesting to learn from Samantha Taylor and her mother as to what Pistorius was like. They seemed to be able to predict that something like this could happen.

  33. If I was on the State team and was given an opportunity to have a friendly talk with him while he was on the witness – jeez – I think I would need several weeks – there was just so much to talk about. So many things to talk about. So Oscar how did those Jeans find there way out of the bathroom window, when was the last time an intruder broke into the estate, why do you have two dogs, …

  34. Two of the central planks in the States case were
    a) A woman’s scream occurred before the gunshots.
    b) the second set of noises were the gunshots and these occurred around 3:17 am

    Now Judge Masipa threw those two planks out of the window within about 5 minutes. So questions that need to be answered are

    i) Why did she do that?
    ii) Was she correct in doing that?
    iii) How did that affect the states case?

  35. The other thing to consider was did the police make mistakes in the initial handling of the murder scene and what procedures should have been followed.

    For example as a prosecutor when I ask OP what the eck where those trouser doing out the window I don’t want him to be able to say- I don’t know maybe the police threw them out of the window.

  36. Now that the verdict is out, slowly criticisms will start appearing against the Prosecution Team – they didn’t do this, didn’t do that, should have done this etc. I still feel Nel did a brilliant job, as juror13 has repeated in her posts many a time. Will try to elaborate why I say so.

    This was a situation where there were only two people present at the scene. One of them is no more. So it is Oscar who is the only one who knows exactly what unfolded that day. Others, the State, can only draw inferences from various `observations’ (by ear-witnesses, phone records, content of phone conversations etc. It is quite likely that if the State `reconstructs’ a possible scenario from all those available evidence, even though it is correct by and large, it might and in all probability it would differ from what actually happened in small details, and Oscar would know precisely what those small details are where the State’s version is wrong and his team then can exploit those to refute State’s entire version. Under these circumstances, I thought Nel was spot on by sticking to his theme, namely

    1. he established without an iota of doubt that Oscar was inconsistent in his versions, he was tailoring his evidence, he was unreliable.

    2. And then there were these screams that 4 of the witnesses heard before coming to a stop with the Bangs, and intermittent arguments that one close neighbour heard,

    3. forensic and pathological evidence that was sound,

    4. offered an opportunity by the Defense team, he made sure Oscar was sent for psychological/psychiatric evaluation and reduced criminal capacity was ruled out.

    Of course, there was also plenty of other little details as well (like Oscar’s phone calls after the event, conversation with Baba etc), but he did not dwell on those much because it would be possible for the Defence to present some counter arguments there and thus distract the judge from the main points 1-4 above. Some of the points he didn’t venture into (jeans outside, Oscar’s missing phone) would have probably been the result of shoddy investigation work by the Police in the initial stages (I believe someone in the Police force was definitely compromised, by the way).

    In the end of course, everything became a total farce, as the judge summarily disregarded (2) and (3), accepted (4), and accepted (1) but still chose to go by one of Oscar’s versions (actually I am not even sure she chose ONE version of Oscar, I have to look carefully but seems to me more like she chose bits and pieces from Oscar’s different versions).

    Normally it is fine to say that the onus is completely on the State to prove guilt and the accused has to just raise this tiny bit of doubt. In a situation such as the one we have here, where it is common cause that there was nobody else except the two of them there that night, and the accused and the deceased were together the entire time till the event, and the accused ended up shooting her to death, there should be (and I am sure there is, in any legar system worth the name) an increased onus on the accused to present a coherent version of events. Oscar utterly failed to do so.
    And yet…

    1. The shifting burden happens already in a properly conducted trial.

      Where it is accepted that the accused intentionally shot the victim, usually the accused must the establish the foundation for an active defence like self defence.

      As self defence has a strict multi-part test, the practical impact is the defence must work hard to establish it.

      So although the burden is on the prosecution, the defence also has an onus to get the defence into play.

      1. Again, agree 100%

        The minute OP changed his reason for shooting, he was toast.

        Nothing can excuse the fact that he should have this portion of his defence clear and be absolutely sure about why he shot.
        Instead of addressing this, Masipa just picked a defence for him, explained it to him and let him off.

        Couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

  37. I don’t mean to be rude, but everyone wants a say in this matter, so could members please make their point as concise as possible and give others a chance to speak. Seeing a wall of text 4 or 5 replies deep from the same posters is not fair on the rest of us.

    1. I have failed to stimulate the debate nor the thought process so I’ll kindly withdraw. Apologies – I realise that my comments appear to be a wall of meaningless text to some.

      1. Leave or stay it`s entirely up to you. As I said I wasn’t being rude, so I dont see the need for petulance.

  38. Can someone confirm the following.

    If … OP believed there was an intruder behind the toilet door AND believed he had the legal right to shoot the intruder … does that exclude Dolus Eventualis?

    There was a similar case in South Africa that someone posted a little while ago: a man gets up in the middle of the night having heard a noise in the bathroom. He gets his gun and goes to the bathroom quietly, then shoots as the toilet door opens, and it is his pregnant wife … both wife and unborn baby die. The Judge accepts Culpable Homicide after the Defence and Prosecution do a deal.

    Then there was the case in South Africa. Mans daughter says she is going to use dad’s car early in the morning. Early in the morning the mother wakes up and hears the car starting up she wakes her husband and tells him someone is stealing the car, he gets his gun leans out the window and shoots dead the person in the car. He goes out and sees he has shot to death his daughter and then remembers she told him she was going to take the car. Verdict Culpable Homicide … or Straight Acquittal … anyway he gets let off.

    It seems to me that South Africa is full of examples of husbands shooting to death wifes, husbands shooting to death daughters, boyfriends shooting to death girlfriends … and its always the same … mistaken identity … culpable homicide … or acquittal.

    1. Basically it is a phenomenon of gun cultures. The State allows its citizens to arm themselves with guns. The State allows its citizens to shoot at intruders if the citizen is in fear for his life (rightly or mistakenly).

      Lots of examples of people mistakenly shooting at wives, daughters etc in the middle of the night or soon after waking up, assuming intruders, shooting often to death, the “intruder”. Without making a noise, without giving a warning … just assuming it’s an intruder and being overwhelmed by fear or something else … then shooting without thinking or shooting with too much addled thinking.

      You know people do things without thinking, There are a lot of stupid people … or a lot of people that do stupid things when they are spooked. Governments are allowed to kill people, lots of people by creating a climate of fear, then bombing foreign countries. Lots of stupid people, lots of people in fear. Homo stupidus. Homo spookedicus. Free guns with every supersized double whopper meal.

  39. I have read through all these comments with interest. Retired Judge Chris Greenland who has appeared on Ch199 frequently has made some very interesting remarks regarding the verdict. I will try to find the links. Some appear on twitter while some appear on FB.

  40. “Among her comments, Judge Masipa, who has acquitted herself well throughout the trial, noted that Pistorius’s defence of his crime can “reasonably possibly be true”. The evidence against Pistorius for premeditated murder was “purely circumstantial”. He did, however, act negligently because “a reasonable person with a similar disability would have foreseen that the person behind the door would be killed, and the accused failed to take action to avoid this”. Those words are hollow because a reasonable person never would have been in such a situation in the first place.”

    well said indeed …

  41. Johannesburg –

    Two court cases – both arising from death caused by a fired gun, leaning on the test to prove an intention to kill and foresight for consequences, have delivered contrasting verdicts in a space of little more than a year.

    In March last year, the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the judgment of a Limpopo regional magistrate’s court where Nelson Makgatho was convicted of murder dolus eventualis – meaning he was responsible for the foreseeable consequences of his actions – and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

    Makgatho, according to court papers, went to a tavern in Senobarana in Limpopo looking for his “girlfriend”, Daphne Madibane, but when she refused to go with him, he attempted to force her and the people she was seated with objected.

    Makgatho apparently slapped Madibane and Nicholas Maloba before firing a shot up in the air.

    At the heart of his appeal was the contention of whether he had acted with dolus eventualis when he caused the death of another person.

    This week, Judge Thokozile Masipa held that the State failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Oscar Pistorius had the requisite intention to commit murder when he shot and killed his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, in February last year.

    She said Pistorius had acted negligently when he fired shots into the toilet door that ultimately killed Steenkamp.

    She found him guilty of culpable homicide.

    The verdict has been met with mixed reactions, with some legal experts criticising the judgment while others supported it.

    In the Makgatho case, the SCA said Makgatho foresaw the possibility that his firing a shot, whether into the ground or in the air, in the presence of many people, would result in harm.

    “The fundamental question is not whether he should have accepted that the result would follow, but whether in actual fact he accepted that it would follow,” the SCA ruled.

    “The test in respect of intention is subjective and not objective.”

    Saturday Star

  42. Judge Masipa ruled: “How could the accused have reasonably foreseen the shot he fired would have killed the deceased? Clearly he did not subjectively foresee this, that he would have killed the person behind the door, let alone the deceased,”
    He admittedly fired four shots ( employing hollowpoint bullets designed to fragment producing extra wound channels to cause rapid blood loss ) into the door of a 4×4 foot room…
    How can any reasonable person dismiss that there’s a good chance that one of them might be lethal? “Clearly”, (CLEARLY?) Oscar could not foresee the person he admittedly fired upon might be killed ??
    Oh, Judge Thokozile Matilda Masipa, your aforementioned declaration is deplorable … with heavy heart your words will forever haunt me : (
    Boundless love & compassion for June & Barry Steenkamp and family …

  43. “Dolus eventualis would require that he knew somone was in the bathroom AND knew that his actions would kill whoever it was AND went ahead and carried out those actions anyway.”

    Understood but he did KNOW someone was in the bathroom, that is by his own words what started this whole thing !!! … YES, he armed himself with chosen hollow point bullets and, again YES he DID go ahead and “carry out those actions”.

    Am I missing something here ?? Is the judicial system saying his fake story has to be TRUE to convict him ? Well it was ! There WAS someone there and he DID KILL “someone” !!

    Okay, for sake of argument, I DO believe his story which changes NONE of the above … So what are we discussing in re-hashing the EXACT wording of the law ?? You know, twisting and stretching the wording of the law to leave NO DOUBT as to Oscar’s “innocence” just as we do for EVERY case I am sure : /

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