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Plausible Pistorius - not the sharpest blade runner in the shed

15 May 2014, 12:57

I put it to you that Oscar Pistorius might be telling the truth. Not the whole truth but mostly the truth, so help him Barry Roux.

Don’t get me wrong, he shot and killed someone through a door (no one fires hollow-point bullets with the intention of missing) and for that he deserves hard jail time. But what if the crazy truth was that it was all a monumental fuck up? Is Oscar that big a fool? Yes and yes, here’s why it’s plausible...

Shakespeare wrote: “What a piece of work is man. How noble in reason.” Whatever, mate. We all like to think we are but a cursory glance at social behaviour reveals how myopic, easily led astray and confused we are. Furthermore, in support of human stupidity, i present to you:

Exhibit A - a star athlete in his twenties mistakes his blonde wife for an intruder and shoots her, not through a door, but point blank.

Exhibit B - a man uses a handgun as a drill and lands up shooting his wife through a wall.

Exhibit C - this one’s on camera, a man tussles with his wife’s ex but lands up shooting her by mistake.

Exhibit D - people winning awards for being fatally stupid.

Exhibit E - a man drives 23km in the dead of night to his in-laws’ house and murders them with a tyre iron and kitchen knife in his sleep.

Okay so that last one wasn’t so much an example of stupidity but rather an uncomfortable reminder that truth can be more of a nightmare than fiction. The take home message here is that crazy shit happens all the time to all kinds of people for all kinds of reasons. Don’t be too quick to dismiss the possibility that you may not be in the best frame of mind to make rational decisions at 3am after waking from sleep only to shit your pants because you live in Gauteng where every noise in the dark is suspicious and, because you’re a paranoid mlungu, trying to rape you.

Now what of this Blade Runner?

“Oh don’t be gullible,” you say, “Oscar knew exactly what he was doing.”

Really? If Oscar was the levelheaded type would he drive his boat into a jetty? If he was rational, would he shoot through the car’s sunroof out of apparent hilarity at avoiding a speeding fine? What about that sober moment he let off a round whilst inspecting his friend’s gun in a restaurant?

No siree, Oscar’s not trained to stop and think, he’s trained to win - trained to react, with world class reflexes. Olympic reflexes. Run now, think later. Sports cars. Guns. Models. He's not malicious, he's a jock. And a sore loser on top of that (‘his blades were bigger than mine’ - Paralympics 200m final). I’m happy to call a blade a blade and diagnose him with small man syndrome. If you think that pun was cruel consider the savage irony that if it weren’t for his disability he wouldn’t have reached the top of the mountain and then sprinted over the edge.

Now let’s not mistake his idiocy for violent anger. Sure, Oscar’s killed a few watermelons in his time, but he has no record of physical abuse and no history of violence. The State could only muster instances of him arguing in public with other jocks and text messages revealing that he threw hissy fits.

The exes cancel each other out with Samantha Taylor claiming that he was an angry person but Jenna Edkins tweeting “NOT ONCE has he EVER lifted a finger to me, made me fear for my life” a day after the shooting.

It’s safe to say he’s hot-headed as Reeva’s text revealed “I’m scared of you sometimes and how you snap at me.” But to go from that single text, in a sea of syrupy messages, to murder is a huge stretch. What could they have possibly been arguing about on Valentine’s Eve to enrage the jock so much? If The State had this evidence (even if it was circumstantial), they would have revealed it. What The State had were neighbours who heard the screams of a woman presumably before the shooting. The defence presented other neighbours (closer ones) who heard the screams of a man presumably after the shooting. The rumours of an SMS from Reeva’s ex which could have triggered the trigger-happy fool remain just that, but let’s suppose an argument did materialise at 3am and grew heated to the point where Reeva had to flee for her life. Where were the signs of a struggle on her body? There weren't any. The state is trying to convince Judge Thokozile Masipa that he went from arguing to grabbing the gun without producing a motive? Highly unlikely.

Of course this is assuming you believe this St. Valentine’s Day murder to be a crime of passion. If you thought Oscar was smart enough to pre-think the intruder defence and ignore his reflex training - to wait it out until she was in the bathroom to shoot her, without the odd backhand or shove against a wall - then you think the intruder defence is smart. It’s not, it’s weak in the knees and therein lies another clue: would anyone in the public spotlight with premeditated murder on the mind not think of a better way to rid himself of a girlfriend?

What you don’t have is a motive, what you do have is reasonable doubt. And an idiot. Oscar’s version, as ridiculous and tragically stupid as it sounds, is very plausible. Well, that’s the defence i would have gone with if Oscar came to me for counsel. Instead he’s chosen to play the traumatised victim of his own valiance: a pure hearted man who was merely looking out for his girlfriend (by not looking out for her at all) and, despite pointing his pistol, never really intended to shoot ‘maximum damage bullets’ at anyone. What a vainglorious bastard.

At least he’s not blaming the devil. At least he hasn’t got Ray McCauley in his corner – that would be as good as guilty.

Now, i’ve discussed this with several people and guys, more often than girls, agree that Oscar’s version is plausible. In fact, not one girl i’ve argued with has agreed with me. The knee-jerk reaction to hang him from the balls has taken over respect for due process. Domestic and women abuse are hot topics, as well they should be, but i fear this case is being pressed into the service of those hell-bent on stoking the fire instead of following the smoke to its source. Look, i don’t like the guy any more than you do, but consider a scenario where a man behaves irrationally with dire consequences for his significant other? Ladies, does this sound familiar? I think many of you can relate.

Any way you slice it, it’s a scary time to be a woman in South Africa. Either your nice, successful boyfriend lets power go to his head and shoots you dead for disagreeing with him or your nice, successful boyfriend wakes up in the middle of the night, hears a supposedly wicked noise, shits his pants and shoots you dead in the dark. No midnight wee-wee will ever be worth it again.

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