South Africa’s Supreme Court of Appeal has accepted the State’s appeal and changed the conviction that was handed down to Oscar Pistorius from manslaughter to murder.
Eric Leach spent just under 30 minutes reading the unanimous ruling which was agreed upon by all of the five judges.
Leach said that having armed himself with a high-calibre weapon, Pistorius must have foreseen that whoever was behind the door might die, especially given his firearms training. Of course he should. He killed Reeva because he was angry and because he felt he could.
The Supreme Court ruling comes as a relief to many people who thought Oscar had evaded justice and literally ‘got away with murder’. Pistorius had given unconvincing testimony at his trial with him being referred to as a ‘poor witness’. Many, including me, watched the trial at times with disbelief as Oscar’s defence team trotted out one questionable expert after another – it really was nearly laughable – but it wasn’t, because a young woman was brutally murdered on valentines day by the very person who should of protected her.
Anyone, and there were thousands, who sat through the court case was left in no doubt that Oscar was an angry young man who always got what he wanted and was prone to violent outbursts – usually, but not always vocally. It seems he was a ticking time-bomb waiting to go off. Unfortunately, Reeva Steenkamp took the full impact of his explosion.
So, how did he manage to get off with it first time around? Well, like most, if not all justice systems around the world – money and the ability to afford the best lawyers seem to have played its part. Had Oscar been a black poor kid and Reeva been the same – this wouldn’t of even been a footnote in history and Oscar would be serving a life sentence in some unforsaken prison – where he would be unknown and forgotten about by all but a few close relatives.
The UK court has a system of juries which has its positives when faced with straight forward cases – however, can fall down when things are complicated and be swayed by good witnesses or defendants. No system is, or can be, the perfect system.
I hope that the Steenkamps can now feel some sense that justice, from their home country, has finally came down on their side.