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Pistorius supported by ‘God Squad’ – but will he run?

22 February 2013, 09:00

"I always find it astonishing that two parties can have such diverse arguments about one set of facts,” the state prosecutor recently said.  "We argue with respect, but with conviction that no court will agree that the accused acted in self-defence."

The defence, which may be costing Pistorius R50 000 per day, says: “It’s not even murder.”

The prosecution asks: “Does the accused think he can go back to his life as though nothing happened?” And Oscar Pistorius shakes his head.  But he does want bail? The public out there, his supporters, seem to be going on as though nothing did happen. It was “just” an accident, an “innocent mistake”.  In fact many messages of support are for Oscar and Reeva (in the same sentence) as though the couple were still both alive and both Oscar and Reeva unfairly under fire.  In other words, there seems not to be a real awareness that one person is dead; her family has already transported her body to the funeral in Port Elizabeth, miles away from where she lost her life, while only the other person remains to give his version of events.


Many of Pistorius supporters seem to agree that “it’s not even murder.”  An accident then? A mistake?  Apparently so. In Oscar Pistorius own words he called the incident “a horrible mistake.”

But what is evident is that the Pistorius family seem to have some strong ideas on what they think and what they do.  There’s nothing if not conviction at work here:

Just arrived home after what has been day 4 of 4 long days. Going on GRACE! Thanks for all the prayer 4 all of us.

Praying unceasingly 4 Reeva's family like my brother asked, praying 4 my brother

Thank-you very much. We have been given much grace in this tragic situation. 

"My strength lies solely in my tenacity 2 pursue Jesus. It is no secret tht only in that strength do we live meaningfully." - Carl Pistorius

“Fear is a lie”

The insights into the minds of the Pistorius family, the single-minded nature and confidence and certainty of their own thoughts and ideas, but ESPECIALLY THEIR FAITH, is evident on twitter. Carl Pistorius, who is Oscar’s brother, is obviously a very committed Christian.  On his twitter profile he has a profile picture with the words: ‘Fear is a lie’.  Ironic, since his brother’s affidavit relies heavily on the ruse that he felt fearful and vulnerable, too afraid to turn on the lights, and this prompted him to shoot at least three bullets through a door, which led to extensive bleeding and soon after Steenkamp’s death.

The outpouring of support on Carl Pistroius’ his page is evident. Even Piers Morgan is retweeted saying “premeditated murder sounds unlikely” or words to that effect.  But the tone is unified – it is all positive support.  All reinforcing affirmations.  There are virtually no facts related to the case, with a single exception; to criticise a procedural matter:

Senior magistrate instructs contravention of court order by instructing the police 2 send @OscarPistorius into dock be4 magistrate enters!

The supporters of Pistorius are also content not to ask questions or mention facts, not even specific facts that bolster Pistorius’ account:

There is no question in my mind, heart and soul, that Oscar is innocent. Praying for bail.

@oscarpistorius many many ppl praying over your families. I'm 100% confident God's got this! He IS sovereign!

@OscarPistorius will rise again! I believe so!

the comfort and presence of the HSpirit be with you all and the Steenkamp family."

praying for your family and Reeva's. This is very hard to come to terms with but God is watching over you all. God Bless

facts are facts... God bless your family

I pray for Godly wisdom for your advocates, and peace for you, and the Holy Spirit to prepare the way for you today.

We are praying that the truth will come out and that @OscarPistorius and #reeva's families will find comfort in that truth

We are all thinking of Oscar and your family. God be with you all & Reeva's family.

God sal julle deur hierdie tyd dra en jul nooit in die steek laat nie. Ek sal bid vir julle en Reeva se familie.

Shout out to @carlpistorius today as he celebrates his birthday! Grateful to God for the man He has crafted you to be

“Don’t judge”

Personally I have been criticised a great deal for ‘judging’ the Oscar Pistorius case.  I’ve been told, in response to asking a question: He’s not guilty, shame on you!  Others say that we should allow the law to take its course, and that it’s “not right” to comment or think about the case, that lawyers and the lawyers alone should do that.  The reason for this idea might come from watching too many movies.  In South African law we do not have a jury, so our courts are less susceptible to the media when a case is sub judice (being heard).  A magistrate must provide reasons in writings for his decisions, and thus tries to make the most sensible one under the circumstances.

But it’s obvious that the ‘God Squad’ quoted above see things very much in black and white. “There is no question in my mind that Oscar is innocent” and “I'm 100% confident God's got this!” These seem to be pretty clear judgements that their man is innocent. 

If we are to be respecters of truth, and facts, and we claim to be members or adherents of a particular religion, we should also heed the tenets and laws of the books we subscribe to (and claim to stand for, and believe in).  Thus, if we are speaking in God’s name and 100% certain of God’s position, we should also be reminded that the 6th of the 10 commandments is ‘Thou shalt not kill.’  Not necessaarily, let us be clear, “Thou shalt not commit murder.’  But simply, ‘Don’t kill.’

Wiki: According to the Priestly Code of the Book of Numbers, killing anyone with a weapon, or in unarmed combat, is considered retzach. The code even includes accidental killing as a form of retzach.

Meanwhile, what comes across time and again is that we should reserve judgement.  God judges, we must not.  Unless we happen to be a judge.

Why should we care?

Actually, it is the media’s job not just to sit in the court room dispassionately, but also to understand and interpret the facts so as to communicate them.  Hence the media has been helpful in providing graphics of the schematic (layout of the Pistorius home), and in exposing one of the investigators. Believe it or not, it is in the public’s interest, and also sponsors interest, to know whether someone millions trusted as a hero, icon and inspiration is not who he claims to be. And we happen to live in a society where on average, a woman is raped every four minutes and one is killed every eight hours by her partner or relative in South Africa.  Shouldn’t society, citizens of this country, care about this, and also care about how and why it is happening, and who is involved?  Is the level of policing adequate?  Is justice served? Are our gun laws appropriate?  Is it safe or sensible to have a dozen weapons in one’s home, including a semi-automatic? Should the law restrict gun licensing particularly in instances of domestic violence records?

But the intention of this article is also to point a finger squarely in the faces of the hypocrites – the sycophantic Christians who insist on a black and white judgement on the one side, and refuse – in typical form – to countenance any idea that don’t sit well with them.


Why I find it obscene, is given the context of crime in this country, that ordinary people can muster such a schizophrenic view. How do they think our society is the way it is?  And it is rather ridiculous, to be sitting in court, praying to God, with the idea, one suspects, that His truth will somehow trump the court’s; that we can have God intercede on behalf of our hero, the innocent apple of one’s eye, and overpower or manipulate the “evil” and “worldly” and “fallible” judge to a more favourable outcome.  Wow, is that justice?  We could just as well use muti then, or have someone sprinkle incense over the court.

What we are actually dealing with is a hearing that is the precursor to a trial for premeditated murder. Experts are gathered to provide and listen to and evaluate evidence and information. Is praying really appropriate when one is trying to determine the facts of the case?  Or is the idea to make a judgement whilst maintaining ignorance of the facts.  Can one simply say, “Look, he is sorry for what he did, that’s enough.” Pistorius was also sorry about the outburst made after he lost to the Brazilian sprinter at the Paralympics. It’s obvious that he is emotional, and quick tempered.  

“Nobody’s Perfect”

I saw a picture on Facebook yesterday, of Oscar Pistorius in a pose with his hands together in front of his mouth, making it look as though he is praying, with this message:

Go ahead, judge me, just remember to be perfect for the rest of your life.

Of course none of us judge in the real world.  Our beliefs are not a judgement about the world.  Every evaluative judgement about whether something is right or wrong, good or evil, isn’t a judgement.  When we read the bible we don’t judge whether the words are true, or even how true.  We KNOW they are true. When we choose a life partner we don’t judge them.  Our facebook photos are not about allowing people to judge us.  What we wear and how we comb our hair in court has nothing to do with trying to get people to judge us in a way we would prefer.  When we go to a job interview or on a date, we don’t care what others think of us because we know that no one can judge. When the prosecutor says that Pistorius is playing down the gravity of the claims against him, the prosecutor says: "I am astounded by the total lack of insight of the seriousness of what's happened.” In other words – this person seems to have no clue how to judge the situation.

Neither does the public. 

But the defence maintain: “It’s not even murder.”

The prosecution: "This total lack of insight and willingness to take responsibility for his deeds increases his flight risk. Instead, the defendant seemed simply to be saying: "I'm Oscar Pistorius, I'm a world-renowned athlete, that in itself is special.” Seated in the dock, Pistorius’ face twisted in anguish; he appeared to be fighting an urge to speak. Not only does the accused show an unwillingness to take responsibility forn his deeds, so do we.  Many say we should not even think about it, we should move on. To what?

“Oom, I’m Oscar Pistorius”

During an incident with his business manager some time ago, Oscar Pistorius prevented a Beeld photographer from photographing a scene where someone had been run over – and killed –  by a car.  Why can’t I do my job? The photographer asked.  “Oom, I’m Oscar Pistorius.” Does Pistorius seem to feel the rules don’t apply to him?  He has spent a lot of time in courts overseas making the case that he does not have an unfair advantage, and being very selective in the science, and should be the exception to their rules.  When someone does beat him he becomes enraged and says it is “an unfair advantage.”  Is this not clear evidence of impunity at work? [If you don’t know what impunity means it means the expectation, or a sense of entitled exemption from punishment, or loss or escape from fines.]  So what is more natural than to see yet another instance of, “Oom, I’m Oscar Pistroius.”

Where he accidentally fired off a bullet in a restaurant, he had a friend take the blame.  Why? Because I should be exempt from paying the fine or being punished. 

It’s not about The Cover

They also say, don’t judge a book by its cover.  Of course we never do that; we go into a book store and first thing we look at is the inside of the book?  We buy a newspaper not because of the front page.  We love Oscar not because he is good looking but because…he runs very fast.

In the bail application Desmond Nair, presiding over the case is damned if he does, damned if he doesn’t.  Women’s rights activists and others following the case will say he is getting special treatment if he gets bail, crazed sycophants, and no doubt his own family will scream blue murder if he doesn’t.  But what is decided today may well set the course and tone for the rest of the case.  Will momentum swing towards or away from the prosecution, because it has been swinging plenty?

The stakes are high.  He could get life in jail.  He could get off with a slap on the wrist. If Pistorius does get bail, will he run?

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