Will tomorrow be the day that Oscar finally answers for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp? Or will it be a repeat of September 12th, a day that injustice is allowed to prevail?
The time has come for all of us to be real about what this trial has meant to us and why it’s so important.
Aimee and Carl Pistorius would love nothing more than to point their fingers at us and let us know that we all just voyeurs, negative and unfair. They’d much prefer we sob along with them and forget all about the intrusive thoughts in our heads.
But you are all here reading this blog because you have those thoughts in your heads and you certainly have a right to explore them. More important than that, you have a voice. And if there’s something in this world that you’re not happy about, you better damn well use that voice and say something or somebody else will say it for you.
Dr. Lore Hartzenberg, Oscar’s psychologist, and diligent supporter at trial, was the first to take the stand for the Defense during the hearing last week.
She spoke of how from the outset, she did not want to get involved in the merits of the case. But when recently approached by the Defense and asked to testify at sentencing, she agreed. Why the sudden change of heart? Well, let’s be honest… because she’s his friend.
She testified about her clinical observations while conducting sessions with him for the previous 18 months.
• First consultation was Feb 25, 2013.
• Oscar presented with acute stress reaction. PTSD and depression were also noted.
• He was referred to a psychiatrist and is still under that treatment.
• He frequently spent sessions weeping, retching, perspiring, trembling, was pale and he paced.
And just as she has set the stage for everybody’s sympathy, she tells the court that Oscar was “deprived of the opportunity to mourn” somebody he loved, and this was the result of the premeditated murder charge that was leveled against him as well as the constant attention from the relentless media.
So let me get this straight… Poor, broken Oscar couldn’t mourn the person that HE killed because the State decided to charge him and make him answer for his crime. And the media, and every other person discussing this trial in public, is a bunch of selfish assholes who have no right to discuss what he has done, even though trials are public proceedings and we SHOULD care about what is happening in our societies. Um, ok. I guess it’s our fault.
She then tells us that Oscar remains in an unresolved spiral of grief without resolution. It’s called “complicated grief”.
Well of course it’s complicated… when you kill somebody and have to lie about it every day, life gets pretty tricky.
He was not able to eat and sleep, and often expressed his longing for Reeva. He now has a void without her presence in his life.
Bummer. Maybe he shouldn’t have killed her. But no worries, I’m sure Jenna Edkins can help him out.
The nature of the charge of premeditated murder played out on the world stage and he was
often portrayed in an adverse light. She suggests that this was abuse at the hands of the media.
His ability to heal was destroyed by the level of malevolence by the public.
I don’t think Oscar needs any help in being portrayed in an adverse light. The guy has been acting like a reckless punk for years now. He had warning signs galore along the way and ignored them all because he’s entitled and selfish, and hasn’t ever had to deal with real consequences for his actions. His ability to heal has absolutely nothing to do with the media and nothing to do with us discussing this matter on my blog. It has everything to do with the hollow existence that Oscar has chosen to live.
Also as a result of the premeditated murder charge against him, he has experienced the loss of mutual friends that he shared with Ms. Steenkamp. This was devastating to him because he needed the support of friends.
I’m pretty sure that their distance has nothing to do with the charge of premeditation and EVERYTHING to do with the fact that he did actually kill their friend. Oscar has a razor-sharp ability to focus on what HE needs in every scenario. Hey yea, I killed your friend, but come on over and let’s have a braai. Does that make any fucking sense? I am utterly flabbergasted that any experienced psychologist would have the nerve to make this statement in court.
The pity party continues…
Oscar has lost his identity, self-belief and reputation. He had a platform to make a difference for disabled and disadvantaged people worldwide. He feels he has lost his voice to make a positive contribution to those communities.
Yes, Oscar, you have lost your voice. And you should also lose your freedom for the horrific crime that you committed. You are not an example for any human being, disabled or otherwise.
The good doctor would also like us to remember that Oscar didn’t lose his temper when he was provoked by Nel during a “severe cross-examination”.
Big bad Nel… a favorite scapegoat of the Pistorians. She says this as if he should receive a trophy for not beating somebody up in court. Too bad he can’t control himself outside of the courtroom.
He expressed horror at leaked photos of the crime scene, claiming it was disrespectful to Reeva.
The photos are not what is disrespectful to Reeva; what’s disrespectful to Reeva is that he killed her and she loved him. She was hovering behind a closed door and screaming for her life. That’s disrespect.
She ends by saying we are left with a broken man who has lost everything.
I highly beg to differ. Unlike Reeva, he still gets to breath.
Nel reinforced this point when he confronted Hartzenberg with the reality that Oscar has a future. He can have a career and he can have girlfriends (and reportedly has one now). Nel wants to know what Hartzenberg knows about Reeva. Do you know about her dreams, what she wanted to do in life? Hartzenberg’s response, Oscar only talked about the two of them together. Well, of course he did. Reeva was never a real person to him, one with hopes and dreams and aspirations of her own. The same pattern can be seen with every one of his previous girlfriends. It’s only about what they can do for him. There was only room for his life in the equation.
Joel Maringa, a social worker at the correctional services department was asked to write a report about whether or not Oscar would be a good candidate for house arrest. These are amongst the various factors that he believes should be considered when determining the sentence:
• Oscar has been involved in many charitable organizations
• Living with his uncle, relationship with his dad is sour
• Living off savings, earning potential has been harmed
• He’s only a social drinker and only uses prescription drugs
• He’s a first offender, the trauma has been punishment enough
Maringa’s sentencing recommendation – Place Oscar under house arrest and assign 16 hours per month of cleaning duty at the Transvaal Museum. Alcohol and drugs should be banned and he should receive trauma counseling. Maringa believes that “correctional supervision is harsh”.
You know what’s fucking harsh? Being shot in the head by your boyfriend. That’s harsh. Equally harsh is the suggestion that the value of a woman’s life is comparable to a few dirty floors at the local museum.
Nel quickly set Maringa straight by telling him that his recommendation was “shockingly inappropriate” and Oscar’s behavior was “grossly negligent”. And lest we not forget that the home where this punishment is to be carried out is actually a luxury mansion.
Next up in the chain of fools, we got to hear from the non-manager manager Peet van Zyl. Here is his SAVE OSCAR campaign:
• Global sporting icon
• Brand ambassador
• Extensive list of charities
• Makes others feel welcome and at ease
• Involved in the development of prosthetic technology
• Helps land mine victims
• All sponsorships and contracts have been terminated, no money #sadface
That’s it, I’m totally voting for Oscar for President!! Oh wait… damn, that’s right. I forgot this was a murder trial.
Nel is back at it, bringing us all back down to earth. He reminds van Zyl that charities are in fact a wonderful marketing tool for any ambitious business man.
Van Zyl laments that if only the media had been kinder to his client, future opportunities would be more abundant. He also wants to make sure that the world knows that Oscar uses his own money to help under-privileged people.
Perhaps if Oscar wasn’t so interested in guns, and fame, and money and power… he could have led a genuine life that benefitted those under-privileged people but this is the road that HE chose to travel. Too little, too late.
Annette Vergeer, a probation officer, would be one of the more… um, interesting… people to speak at the hearing. Here is her offering:
• The Steenkamps stance on the accused is neutral. Huh?
• Expresses remorse, is emotional and seems genuine
• Realizes seriousness of the offense
• Publically humiliated
• He would sacrifice anything to have Reeva back
• First offender, no history of this type of behavior
• Has made monthly payments to the Steenkamp family
• Productive member of society… REALLY???
• Above average potential for reform
• Can give speeches to local disabled children
• Jail is risky – overcrowding, violence and sodomy
• Jail would make him financially dependent on state
• Reeva’s death is a bigger punishment than prison
In regards to that final bullet point – well then why the hell do prisons even exist? If the punishment of our own mind is far worse, let’s release them all today and let them roam the streets in their collective misery so that they can kill us and put us out of our misery too.
And Oscar can give speeches to disabled children? That would be great… hey kids, don’t murder your girlfriend and you too can earn tons of cash as long as you lie and manipulate and never get caught!
Nel is able to reveal that Vergeer didn’t even read the damn judgement and she responds that she is only there in court to discuss his personal circumstances, not the facts. Fantastic! Let’s forget about those nasty facts. She’d rather discuss how terrible prison is and the fact that Oscar is vulnerable to rape without his legs. Nel assures her, his legs will not be taken away.
The revelation of the Steenkamp family receiving money from Oscar, I have to admit, is very troubling to me. I really wish they had found another way to help them through their difficult financial times. It was revealed that Oscar offered them a bigger lump sum, but the Steenkamps refused calling it “blood money”. Nel puts it on record that the Steenkamps intend to fully pay back every cent that Oscar gave them.
It was a crazy day in court between the news about the Steenkamps receiving money and the appearance of Jared Mortimer, Mikey Schultz, Mark Batchelor and Samantha Taylor… It seems that the natives are getting restless!
After listening to the nauseating testimony about why Oscar should get a pass, the majority of the remaining testimony from the defense was about the conditions of the prisons and if they could accommodate a disabled person.
Nel countered with Moleko Zac Modise, the acting National Director for the Department of Correctional Services who was able to assure the court that they were ready and able to accommodate the accused, should he receive a custodial sentence.
This is not a vacation, Oscar. You don’t get to pick your bed linens and favorite shampoo. Prison sucks, whether you have legs or not. If you don’t want to go to prison, don’t commit crime.
But the most memorable and important part of last week, was unquestionably the long-awaited testimony from the family of Reeva Steenkamp.
The family has only spoken with the media a handful of times in the past year and half. They have been silent and guarded; a quiet presence in the courtroom. In Kim Martin, Reeva’s cousin, they would finally find their voice…
The State’s recommendation to the court for sentencing – Arguments from Nel
“Punishment should acknowledge the sanctity of human life.”
“We’re not dealing with a car accident, an assault, we’re dealing with Oscar firing four shots into a toilet cubicle.”
“His conduct tore a loved one from her family, it broke that family. He wants the court to believe that he’s a victim. He is not a victim. He caused it!”
“The accused’s remorse isn’t convincing – the fact that he’s sorry she’s dead can never be remorse. Remorse is when an accused verbalizes that he’s sorry he fired shots through the door knowing there was someone behind it.”
“Accused has coped brilliantly in life – he wanted to complete with able-bodied athletes, now shamelessly uses disability.”
“We argue that the only reasonable sentence will be a long term of imprisonment.”
“My lady, this is my argument. The matter is so serious, in the interests of society, the accused must get prison time.”
The state is asking for a minimum of 10 years sentence.
What am I asking for?
In the words of Judge Chris Greenland…
“Justice must be done and must be seen to be done.”
The application of justice in all cases is imperative if we are to continue living freely and civilly within our societies. The public needs reassurance that the systems and the leaders that they have put in place are honoring the laws and providing protection for their citizens. When this breaks down, when the public does not see justice being done, it creates discontent and total chaos. Criminals are granted a license to behave as they please and law-abiding citizens begin taking matters in to their own hands. It’s a volcano that has been erupting in South Africa for far too long now. I am appalled by Oscar Pistorius. Utterly and completely appalled. Oscar must receive the 15 years allowable for Culpable Homicide. In case you missed it, the word homicide is included in that charge. It’s the killing of a person; the robbing of a life. You cannot get a pass for that.
In less than 24 hours, we will know Oscar’s fate. If it’s not the 15 years, not the 10 years, or worse, simply house arrest… what will you do? What can you do? Everything has a season and right now, we are just beginning autumn.
Leaves change and eventually die, the days become shorter and people are stuck inside… left to reflect the seasons of their own lives. Perhaps this trial doesn’t only have to be about death and injustice. Maybe if we look hard enough, we can find something more. Perhaps, transcendence…
27 Replies to “The Natives are Getting Restless”
GREAT post, Lisa!
Visceral and passionate.
absolutely brilliant, Lisa! A must read for everyone, Masipa included.
Thank you for expressing so accurately what most of us are feeling.
I can’t understand why Gerrie Nel did not ask for the maximum of 15 years for culpable homicide. Can one be more culpable?! But even that would be far from sufficient for this heartless, lying murderer.
The worst part for me is hearing Roux speak about the court findings as if they are the truth and Gerrie Nel being forced to refer to them as if they are the truth. Please bring me a green plastic bucket.
Judge Masipa IS TAKING INTO ACCOUNT AS MITIGATING FACTOR – the public reaction – in terms of destroying his reputation.
Perhaps, perhaps not.
 The reference to ‘society’ is more abstract: It relates to the deterrence needed to reassure people that there exist punishments for crimes. i.e. custodial sentences make people feel a little safer and less likely to make up their own laws.
So this factor exists in every case.
 She mentioned the ‘media’ but not specifically the public – and linked it to career prospects.
Presumably all that means is because he is so well known it will be not a case where you do your sentence and then blend back into society: He is too famous and can never blend back because he will always have media stories.
If he was some unknown person, he could do a sentence, and probably at the end resume a fairly normal life.
Even if the media was completely balanced, this factor would exist.
 Specific media most likely refers to newspapers and TV companies which are running most of the stories.
 The public is a more peripheral “throng” or “gathering” of opinions across many shades… it’s hard to see whether that, in itself, would affect his “career prospects”. If anything being notorious can itself become a career – as you can write a book, for example.
As it happens, the International Paralympics committee has a rule no one serving a sentence (whether custodial or otherwise) may compete: So he’s lost that for the next 5 years now, and it is not due to the public, but rather to the judgement, and case law.
Hence, I think the mitigation is not really related to the public at this moment in time but simply to the fact he is famous and the price of that is millions of people watching his every move during a trial… something a regular offender would not have to deal with?
It’s all coming down to the Siyabonga Mdunge case law, where the husband shot his wife when coming out of the bathroom.
So he gets five years for killing and 3 years (suspended) for possession of incorrect ammunition.
No the 3 years suspended was for the Tasha’s shooting incident. All in all a shockingly inappropriate verdict and sentence.
Shocking, ridiculous, appalling… All of it. South Africa will never resolve their issues of violence if human life has such little value.
@Juror13. Indeed. In fact South Africa, together with the enclave kingdom of Lesotho that lies in its borders, and the nearest neighbour Swaziland, these three together, are 3 of the top 11 highest homicide (murder) rates in the world.
The others are Venezuela, and then 7 of the smallest countries or island states in central America and the Caribbean.
My impression is the problem lies in lenient examples in the case law which make “negligence” too broad a category so that it overlaps, by some margin, acts that would be considered to bear “criminal intentions” in many other jurisdictions.
In many places: you can apply the “deadly weapon rule” – and infer the intention. This seems a reasonable way to approach acts involving normal adults using deadly weapons.
Of course if he is shooting at Reeva it can only be murder: But if he is shooting at a “perceived burglar” that aspects of “home defense” come into play and the verdict or sentence would typically be lighter. I think this applies in America and the UK too?
It’s unlikely that would help in case of firing through a locked door though. For most judges that would simply be a bridge too far: To define oneself as “under attack” while attacking through a door?? Puzzled. Next there will be defendants “under attack” as they bludgeon a shifty looking street kid over the head with an iron bar for 2 minutes straight. In self-defense, so therefore only negligently, you understand…
It looks set to keep those homicide stats ticking up quite nicely anyway.
@Juror13. I think they have an issue with the terminology in fact! I heard reference to “culpable homicide” as either “negligence” or “gross negligence” but people generally stick to “negligence” and then think, oh, kind of the minor offense – a world away from a murder…. this is the feeling i picked up from lawyer pundits last few days. A culpable homicide conviction longer than 8 years is rarely applied. It would seem culturally strange and i think it must be due to it being called: negligence … suggesting merely a lack of care rather than an excessive of wilfulness towards harm.
I would prefer the terminology like in the UK: Culpable homicides are ‘manslaughters’ which do include ‘negligent’ and ‘grossly negligent’ homicides BUT there is also a class called ‘constructive manslaughter’ or ‘manslaughter by acts’.
This can include all the situations where a violent attack is launched not with the intention of causing death, but with that outcome.
It is SUCH a different category of behavior that referring to it even as “gross negligence” does not capture the character of it at all.
Oscar’s actions in Masipa’s terms would be “manslaughter by acts” (as well as some negligence) but mainly it is the ACTS which caused the death, rather than the omissions. I feel this is a real problem with the language used over there. It almost allows a kind of “evasion” as though things were merely “missed” or “not checked” instead of which there was an obvious blatant intention to shoot the gun through the door.
Nel alluded to the “intentional” end of culpable homicide – but they still unfortunately call it “gross negligence”. I think the legal concept of “constructive manslaughter” is missing and then perhaps the sentence structures split apart from the true “negligent” cases. This might shift people from thinking “oh it’s only culpable homicide…”
Which definitely seemed to be the feeling in S.Africa. Indeed, quite a few people consider the sentence HARSH for this offense. Because, it was only .. “negligent”. the language is at fault here.
So Judge Masipa went straight down the middle. State wanted 10 years minimum, Defence wanted community service – so she goes for five.
What I found interesting was that killing gets you five years and possession of incorrect ammo gets you 3 years (suspended) … yet killing seems like an order of magnitude more serious than incorrect possession.
Okay the way SA Justice is served 5 years means at 10 months in jail with the rest being reviewed – he could be let out after 10 months (to serve house arrest).
It’s strange that only one sixth of any custodial sentence is strictly served. For a guaranteed 5 years in prison the sentence would have had to be 30 years.
Everyone saying it is for certain only 10 months in custody and the rest will be house arrest. The Steenkamp lawyer says the parents are satisfied with the ruling – so I think that means there will be no appeal.
Basically the defence won because only 10 months will be served in custody. OP would have served 18 months if he hadn’t had bail.
Great summary, Juror 13!
I found the quoting of the Vorster case by Masipa quite interesting. Below is the summary from the Guardian’s site which I’ve cut and pasted below (http://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2014/oct/21/oscar-pistorius-sentencing-prison-live):
Vorster case was “dissimilar” to Pistorius’s case, though, the judge goes on. Vorster did not have a disability. Vorster did not know there was a person behind the door when he fired – Pistorius did.
Only one shot was fired by Vorster, and was not aimed at the door. Pistorius “deliberately fired four shots into the door”.
Vorster aimed to frighten away the supposed intruder; Pistorius’s intention was to shoot the apparent intruder.
Pistorius could have escaped the threat, she adds.
Pistorius was trained in the use of firearms – a “high degree of responsibility” should be expected of such a person.
So the thing I don’t understand is how Masipa arrived at the decision in her judgment that all the actions Pistorius took added up to culpable homicide and not murder. He knew what those expanding bullets could do. He knew there was a person on the other side of that door in a confined space with nowhere to go. I do hope the State appeals. Five years is a lenient sentence, I think, when the reality is he would be out in under a year. It’s not a deterrent.
Masipa arrived at her decision before the trial started, that is obvious.
I’m not so sure, why did she get so cross about the extension cord going missing if it was going to be irrelevant to the outcome? I reckon it was the timeline that scuppered Nel’s case. My hunch is it was in the balance at a certain point, but it came down to the loss of the 4 “screams” state witnesses due to the decibel tests, and timings of the “helps” and phone calls, etc.
The defense closing arguments were much richer and deeper in general which would have left a lot of work for the panel to “recover” and basically do the NPA’s job for them to come up with a case to explain what on earth was going on after those shots, if not actually what Oscar said…
No wonder our country is such a violent barbaric place, on a daily basis people are getting away with murder.
Very disheartening for us as proud citizens!!!
I agree. I feel very disheartened.
Even if I believed it was genuinely a mistake on his part I would feel that the sentence is hopelessly inadequate. But those of us who followed the trial closely (with Juror 13’s excellent assistance!) “know” what happened that night. The verdict is incorrect which renders the sentence meaningless.
I cannot understand how the judge could concede that OP was a bad witness and then accept his implausible version; hook, line and sinker.
I’ve just read that he is already in jail and take some comfort from that.
Basically the judge reviewed and weighed both sides and decided to the middle path. She did the same with the convictions.She did go for the ‘murder’ but went for ‘culp homicide’ and she found him guilty in 1 of the other 3 charges
I dont think Nel will appeal because there really is not enought evidence for dolus directus. I do think there is for the dolus of the intruder but Nel is not the one who would win that conviction.
If there was an appeal it would be for dolus eventualis. To a reasonable doubt it was dolus eventualis. From Judge Masipa’s acceptance of the timeline: gunshots then OPs screams then bat …. it was dolus eventualis of the person behind the door.
a) he didn’t fire a warning shot because it might ricochet & kill him.
b) he fired four times each requiring a pulled trigger, each requiring locked arms and an aim.
c) he was trained in the use of the gun.
d) he had lethal explosive bullets.
e) he changed aim during the four shots (inverse V shape pattern)
f) after firing four times he turned his back to the threat (we note he didn’t check the window)
g) when he realised it might have been Reeva behind the door (which was almost immediately afterwards) – he screamed like he had never screamed before … why? Because he knew the four shots were likely to have been fatal.
h) If Oscar intended to kill the person behind the door he wouldn’t admit it in court.
I) Oscar gave two mutually exclusive accounts of his firing at the door (he fired intentionally because he thought the door was opening, he fired unintentionally because he was startled by a noise).
h) Judge Masipa FAILED to give a reason for why she found Oscar not guilty of dolus eventualis of the PERSON behind the door.
I) In the sentencing Judge Masipa accepted the States contention that it was negligence BORDERING on dolus eventualis.
My impression is that everyone is closing ranks now and that there won’t be an appeal. Certainly the Steenkamps have no energy left for an appeal and are satisfied with a) the statement that it was extreme negligence bordering on murder (dolus eventualis) b) jail time will be served (they said they were just thankful that he would be serving some form of jail punishment)
Further confirmation of dolus eventualis using OP testimony.
After shooting at the toilet door four times he turned his back to the bathroom and returned to the bedroom … at that time he effectively said he thought the toilet door was not locked … so after firing at the toilet door he turned his back to it despite thinking that the toilet door was not locked … so he must have thought the person behind the door was neutralised. It was only after a quick check in the bedroom that he ran to the bathroom again to open the toilet door, only to find it locked, so back to the bedroom to put his prosthesis on & get the bat.
Further confirmation of ill thought out logic of Masipa on Dolus Eventualis.
Although JM didn’t give a clear reason why she cleared OP of Dolus Eventualis, there is enough bits and pieces to put it together.
a) She ACCEPTS that OP INTENDED to SHOOT
b) She ACCEPTS that OP didn’t shoot as a result of being startled.
c) She ACCEPTS that OP was THINKING BEFORE & During the shooting.
d) She ACCEPTED OP reasoning that IF he intended to Kill he would have aimed HIGHER at the head and shoulders of a person STANDING UP
e) She also ACCEPTED OPs reasoning that he would have emptied the Gun of its bullets if he intended to kill.
Hence she Concludes that OP INTENDED to shoot but he took sufficient care not to kill (because he fired at waist height of a person standing behind the door and because he didn’t completely discharge the gun of all its bullets).
The illogicality of this argument
a) This is an argument Judge Masipa pierced together. It was NEVER OPs explanation of what happened.
b) Her explanation is in DIRECT CONTRAST of OPs explanation of firing after being startled and firing while not thinking, Hence her explanation means OP MUST HAVE BEEN KNOWINGLY LYING while recounting the critical moments of what was going through his head immediately before and during the shooting – when he said he wasn’t aiming and when he said he wasn’t thinking. But she doesn’t explain WHY OP was lying and doesn’t account for this lying in the verdict.
c) Her explanation requires OP to believe the Person behind the door was STANDING UP but she gives NO EXPLANATION as to WHY OP would BELIEVE the person behind the door was standing up. Nor does she consider the BASIS as to why OP would believe the person behind the door was standing up.
d) Her Explanation is a Putative Self Defence Argument yet she REJECTED putative self defence argument so what exactly is her argument?
I believe her verdict can be ripped apart on so many levels but clearly the SA establishment is pulling together now on this one.
Thank Juror13 for your impressive input into this trial. The only thing I disagree on is that when the Steenkamps accepted money from OP, you and a lot of others have objected. I think they should get every spare cent he has, and then some, and no way should they pay it back. Why should they suffer this horrific loss AND suffer financial burden on top of that. Reeva top priority was to earn enough to help her parents, and as. OP has got off murder charge, make him pay ! Every bit of property he owns should be sold and the money given to the Steenkamps. This is what happened to OJ, by the Goldman and Brown family, and boy did that hurt OJ. They hunted him down for every dime he had. If the courts can’t provide justice, then this is the way to go. JMO.
I agree that the judge had made up her mind before trial. If it had not been for reevas cousin – Kim martins strong balanced and passionate speech – pistorius would have no sentence to serve. Judge masipa listened intently to pistorius, and casually disregarded the brave state witnesses who got the timelines slightly out. It was a disgusting farce.
Angela Carr and Pamela, agree with your comments.
I am actually a PR person, but not in show business or the sports world. Financial actually, but that does mean I look at things in a certain way.
The Steenkamps are not young and Barry Steenkamp has had several strokes since the killing.
They would need legal advice and lawyers fees to pay, undoubtedly someone to help with the constant approaches from the media, accommodation in Pretoria, food, as well as fares to travel back and forth and to keep their home and stables running.
They needed money. That said, from a PR point of view, it looks to me that their lawyers were approached by the OP legal camp and offered money and they were advised them to take to tide them over until they could sue him. OP employed PR firms from the very beginning, (they did a lot of good!), and it would not surprise me if it was a deliberate move to show him in a good light, so it was certain to be revealed. Why and only my opinion, did he at the beginning, offer a lot more money, other than to put himself in a good light?
On the matter of the P family’s belief that the global media and internet websites have driven the attacks on P and the destruction of his reputation. Not so!
It has been driven by the public not believing the intruder story and therefore constantly following the trial and using their own experience and gut instincts to judge. They do not judge on the technicalities of law, or after evidence is excluded. They include everything they know.
The only way you could believe the intruder story, is to disregard the neighbours’ testimony, ignore the jeans on the ground outside, ignore the dent in the bath panel. Ignore that R was afraid of him and believe that it was so dark in the bedroom, that he did not see R get up and leave the bed. Ignore they were heard quarrelling and the lights were on, ignore that Dr Burger heard a woman’s blood curdling screams before gun shots.
The fact that Masipa threw out all the neighbours’ evidence gives me the belief that she had no intention of finding him guilty of murder.
If R had arrived at 3 in the morning to surprise him for Valentine’s day and she had let herself into the house and he shot her. Then everyone would believe it.
P has destroyed his own reputation and our sympathies are with a terrified young woman who was shot and killed and the people who have lost her.