Georgina Guedes

The testimony that sunk him

2014-04-18 07:00

Georgina Guedes

I’ve tended to avoid speculation in the Oscar Pistorius trial. We’ll never really know what happened in his house on Valentine’s morning last year, unless he confesses outright.

I’ve felt that any layperson who says, “He’s lying,” or “Bullets don’t behave that way,” or any other statement of conviction about some aspect of the case, is misguided. Even the experts’ testimonies have started to look shaky on interrogation.

However, having watched Pistorius’s testimony last week and this week, I have suddenly found myself in possession of a fairly strong gut feeling: the man is a liar.

Surprising holes

I was extremely surprised by his testimony. Here is a man who has risen to the top of his game and, it seems, has cultivated an image and a reputation. He has hired the best legal team that money can buy, who surely coached him through the type of questions that he’d be asked by the state.

Why, then, did his testimony fall apart so badly? It can’t be a surprise that he was going to be asked direct questions about all the times that guns have gone off in his hands. Surely he could have rehearsed a better set of answers? Surely?

I believe that Pistorius is so hell bent on maintaining his squeaky clean image, that he’s failing to see that he has to let it tarnish as the waves of evidence come crashing down on him.

Instead, he requires us to believe that he didn’t shoot a gun out of his sunroof, despite two witnesses testifying that he did.

Then, he asks us to believe that a gun that cannot accidentally go off accidentally went off when he was in Tasha’s restaurant with a group of friends.

And then, scant few weeks later, we are required again to believe that another gun went off “accidentally”, killing Reeva Steenkamp in his bathroom, that fateful Valentine’s night.

A believable version

If I were Pistorius’s defence team, I would make him own up to the two previous shootings. Sure, it makes him seem to be a gun-wielding cowboy, but that makes his behaviour on the night of Steenkamp’s killing all the more believable. And he should face the fact that there’s no one in South Africa (or the world) who thinks he’s squeaky clean anymore.

I find it far easier to believe that an over-excitable, gun-loving oke, who had a tendency to shoot out of cars and in restaurants, would have shot an “intruder” through a bathroom door without thinking about it too much, than Pistorius’s version of accidental discharges and lying friends.

The problem is, once your audience has stopped believing you, it’s difficult to get them to buy the truth when you are telling it. So, while I have no idea whether or not Pistorius mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, I am fairly confident that he’s lying about the events that led up to the night.

Barry Roux is going to have to work very hard to get him out of this hole he’s dug for himself.

- Georgina Guedes is a freelance writer. You can follow @georginaguedes on Twitter.

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Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorious  |  barry roux  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

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