It's highly plausible that Oscar Pistorious accidentally shot his girlfriend to death. I lived in South Africa for a while and most whites in the cities live with their fists clenched and doors bolted behind barbed wire topped towering walls and mean barking dogs, plenty of guns cocked if the intruders get though that lot. A prominent South African rugby player did indeed do exactly what Pistorious claims he did when he accidently shot and killed his young daughter who he believed was a burglar. There was no show trial and he was not tried as the death of the kid was punishment enough. There are numerous cases of this type of death there because there are plenty of angry young black men breaking into the houses as there are plenty of angry white men ready to shoot them in a heartbeat. It's an incredibly violent and incendiary place and in just 8 months there I was mugged and robbed twice. I do believe, however, Oscar is a dark character and could have simply lost it with the cricket bat we now know the police think he bludgeoned her with when he found out his girlfriend was texting another man on valentine's night and, like crazy Americans; the South Africans can simply reach for a gun and not their fists in a rage. He must have felt incredibly vulnerable without his legs on as he thumbed through her private texts if that was the spark. Maybe her celebrity had reached a point where she no longer needed him and another prominent and more able bodied sportsman was being lined up for the next level up of celebrity? Being famous is a selfish, sad and cynical business.
I did some work at the London Olympics and although I didn't meet Oscar in the Village I was present when he was interviewed at an informal soft chair press conference. He seemed to get agitated when the press kept asking him about his disability, especially as this was after his performance in the able bodied Games in the 400m. It was almost as if he didn't want to be known as a paralympian anymore and he wasn't 'one of them'. He was merely a normal man who just so happened to not have any lower legs, which is great state of mind to tackle life and inspirational but something he could never make true, in the way Lance Armstrong lied to himself all through his career. Had the life of the handsome Oscar Pistorious peaked?
His strop after losing to the Brazilian in the 200m after accusing the chap of wearing illegal blades showed the arrogance of the man. Because Oscar had raced in the proper Games a month before, he had only one option for blade lengths, the condition of his admittance into the proper Games, where as Oliveria didn't and had every right to use longer ones, which he gleefully did. Both men knew that to be the case before the race and Oscar expected he would lose on the shorter blades and, for me, determined to wreck the young Brazilians achievement with his outburst. If he had a gun he probably would have shot the Brazilian, he was the incandescent with rage.
An aspect to this story is the 'alleged' discovery of steroids and accompanying syringes in Pistorious one million rand gated mansion, which his defense team have claimed are 'herbal remedies'. Where have we heard that before! Even Linda McCartney didn't shoot up on herbs! For testers to get into the estate they would have to ring ahead and so time for Oscar to flush them down the toilet, testosterone so far named by the court. Yet again we have a person at the top of their sport who may well be cheating to get where they are and the authorities failing to catch them. The money involved in sport is huge and so maybe they couldn't afford to catch him, already, like Tiger Woods and Lance Armstrong, losing his lucrative Nike deal. Oscars reported earning in court were 5 million rand per year, a surprising amount as no other paralympian earns any money at all.
That secrecy and denial around drugs seemed the case in cycling and that seemed the case with the great Carl Lewis, who was 'let off' when three different performance enhancing drugs were found in his body in the 1980s but deemed not an offence as the substances were mysteriously taken off the United States Athletics Federation banned list just before he was caught. We never got to hear about it until an American journalists found the information on the drug positives in a bin near the USAF head office. It needed the gunning down of Pistorious girlfriend for him to be caught, it's that covered up these days. With this massive cover up in Australian Rugby League and other sports over drugs there you have to wonder just who is clean. When the chap who tested the famous 1988 Soul 100m Olympic Final retested those samples last year with new methods he found far ore drugs in most of the samples, although, as yet, keeping it to himself until the lawyers clear the revelations. Just imagine if all those winners and losers samples were rested from back then. It's also believed vast numbers of Kenyan runners are doping and they can use the solitary locations and training camps at altitude to escape mandatory testing, purely because the Kenyans don't have the budget to test all the runners. Large numbers of foreign athletes also train at the camps, including our very own Mo Farah. I love Mo and never thought he would ever go that way as I have followed his career but I have my doubts now after these revelations.
The Pistorious bail hearing was the most pedantic, tedious legal showing off I have ever seen. In the movies they slam the gavel down and say bail denied when in South Africa its a show trial even before the show trial, little legal jobs worth applying every single nuance of the law to drag the proceedings out, the nuance poor black Africans never get to hear to save their asses. The trail took a dramatic twist when the lead detective bungled some evidence and then revealed by Pistorious expensive sharp suited lawyers that the investigating officer in question, Mr Botha, also has a murder charge hanging over him after opening fire on a mini bus taxi. To be honest if you discharge a weapon anywhere in South Africa you will probably hit a minibus taxi there are so many of them - although not seven times. How the judiciary missed this glaring fact for the Pistorious prosecution case is beyond many. It's then revealed Oscar's brother, who supported him in court, is also facing a manslaughter charge from 2010 for a road traffic accident. You couldn't make this up.
As South Africa doesn't have a jury system and left to the judge to decide the case at the end of any trial pretty much any evidence before and during the trial can end up in the public eye as they don't consider its release subjudicy, an odd and chaotic state of affairs.
It will be left to a judge to decide Oscars fete. But Oscar has flirted with the law before. In 2009 he slammed a woman's head in a door and in 2011 discharged a weapon in a restaurant and asked his mate to take the rap. Interestingly the judge at this week's trial has said one bail condition is he can't drink, suggesting booze is at the heart of this and any more transgressions could wreck his chances of beating the rap.
The public persona is Oscar being a lovely guy, generous and time for everyone. But Nikes PR people, amongst other advisors, helped create that sinecure and the expensive lawyers maintain it. But when it cracks its open season, as we saw with Tiger, Lance and Hansje Cronje, Cronje a good comparison. As a young cricketer Hansje had a reputation free the ladies and the booze and ran over and killed a young black kid. The trial never happened this time and he found God soon after, some say the condition for the trail not to happen.