PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
Sheena St Clair Jonker
 
Comments: 29
Article views: 963
 
 
Latest Badges:

 
View all Sheena St Clair Jonker's badges.
 

The Oscar Pistorius Trial: a violent answer to the problem of violence

10 April 2014, 18:07

Yesterday was the first day of cross-examination of Oscar. And it was a stark representation of why I, and others engaged in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Restorative Justice Peacemaking, are opposed to the adversarial system in civil justice and the accusatorial system in criminal justice as the best means to accomplish justice. Not all are as radically opposed to these adversarial methods as I am, however.

Allow me to explain. At the heart of Oscar Pistorius’ trial is the problem of violence. A young woman is dead. Not only is she dead, but she died at the hands of someone she knew, loved and trusted (although to what degree is an uncertainty). And she died in a most violent way. I am in no position to advance any view at all on the merits and whether or not Oscar is indeed guilty of murder (a product of intention). We do know, however that Reeva died at the hands of Oscar, wielding a gun. Whatever his intention. Whatever his state of mind at the time, an act of violence ended Reeva’s life.

I contend, and I have always contended that the criminal justice system is a violent system. It amounts to an attempt to answer the problem of violence with a violent “solution”. If you were sitting in your lounge yesterday, or your office or wherever else you may have been and exposed to the image of a dead Reeva with the most devastating head wound appear on your television, then you were exposed to an act of violence.

Oscar was literally bludgeoned with this image, and so were we. As a wife, mother, daughter, friend and human I simply cannot get okay with this.

The pre-occupation now seems to be about who is the greater combatant, the greatest “bull terrier”: Gerrie Nel or Barry Roux. The fact is that daily in court, either the state case or the defence case is dismantled at the hands of lawyers with the legal prowess of these men (obviously at varying degrees). And the real tragedy is that very often, the truth is massacred.

We cannot continue to think that we will ever address or transform the problem of violence if we continue to answer this problem with violent systems.

Most are quick to criticize restorative justice as being soft. This is completely wrong. Restorative Justice has much higher potential to get at the truth, precisely because levels of fear in the process are minimized and so wrongdoers and poor choice-makers feel less fearful and less exposed to perpetual harm. And truth paves the way for accountability which in turn provides more potential for learning and behavioural change. And that is what we want. We want the violence to stop. We want healing. No?

Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
29 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
Mogale
The taxi always wins.

I have been riding in a taxi all my life and most times fellow motorists would ask the passengers in a taxi a question using their looks. Read more...

5 comments 262 views
Submitted by
KMAC
Kenwyn Martial Arts Centre

In the month of June we had sensei's from different styles Goju Ryu,Shotokan,Ashihara and kyokushin karate teaching and training. Read more...

5 comments 153 views
Submitted by
Dave Ntozakhele Zizi
Majority poverty

Being a majority has its advantages and disadvantages, based on various aspects of demographics the citizenry. As far as services are concerned it will always be the minority who will benefit most from government as their numbers can be serviced with the least of money, amenities in their areas will last longer be kept in working order better because of the low demand for it, while on the other hand in the areas of majority it is the excessive usage of services which causes numerous breakdowns and eventually no services. Read more...

13 comments 686 views
Submitted by
Adam Sibuyi
An Open Letter to our Leaders

We are a small cluster of like-minded citizens who are concerned with the general deterioration in the overall value system of the nation, but have abiding belief and commitment in South Africa's potential and prospects as a successful democracy. Read more...

1 comments 311 views
Submitted by
Tsepiso Sathie Nzayo
My language, my pride but where a...

South African indigenous languages are facing a formidable challenge. Read more...

18 comments 1197 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

Blogs Your opinion on you, me and everyone.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2015 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.