Editor's note

By Drum Digital
14 March 2014

Khosi on the court's decision to broadcast the Oscar Pistorius trial.

The Oscar Pistorius trial is indeed turning out to be the trial of the decade. The closest we’ve come to this level of unprecedented international interest was Madiba’s passing and his subsequent State funeral.

Last year, when Oscar shot Reeva, the media was mostly caught off-guard when it came to the bail hearing and live reporting via Twitter. But we’ve come a long way since then in a relatively short period of time.

This year, Judge Dunstan Mlambo, Judge President of the North and South Gauteng Divisions of the High Court of South Africa, gave a ground-breaking ruling allowing media houses to broadcast live from the courtroom – an excellent move in terms of transparency and giving the majority of South Africans access to our judicial system.

Now my mother-in-law in Ngqeleni can listen, first-hand, to what is going on in that courtroom. This has, however, not come without challenges as we’ve seen on day six of the trial when presiding Judge Thokozile Masipa understandably banned all live audio and video broadcasts as well as live tweets and blogging because of the graphic and sensitive nature of the State’s chief pathologist Gert Saayman’s post mortem testimony.

Judge Masipa later said radio, print and TV media were able to paraphrase the testimony. Now that a precedent has been set, we hope more cases will be televised. Justice has to be seen and heard by all.

Another positive consequence of this trial has been the interest taken in the legal system by South Africans of all ages and colour. Everyone is talking about it – from Soweto to Constantia, South Africans are listening and talking to each other.

It is always laudable when science and technology present us with new, easier ways of taking control of our lives or ways of living. In this case, Minister of Health Dr Aaron Motsoaledi has just revealed a new birth-control method which can be implanted in a woman’s arm.

While this method is revered for having fewer side effects, it must be noted that it does not prevent sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. That remains a much bigger battle. To curb the HIV infection rate, condoms remain the most accessible and affordable way of having safe sex.

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