News24

Experts: Oscar violated basic gun rules

2013-02-26 22:28

Johannesburg - Even if Oscar Pistorius is acquitted of murder, firearms and legal experts in South Africa believe that, by his own account, the star athlete violated basic gun-handling regulations and exposed himself to a homicide charge by shooting into a closed door without knowing who was behind it.

Particularly jarring for firearms instructors and legal experts is that Pistorius testified that he shot at a closed toilet door, fearing but not knowing for certain that a night time intruder was on the other side.

Instead of an intruder, Pistorius's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was in the toilet cubicle. Struck by three of four shots that Pistorius fired from a 9mm pistol, she died within minutes.

Prosecutors charged Pistorius with premeditated murder, saying the shooting followed an argument between the two. Pistorius said it was an accident.

South Africa has stringent laws regulating the use of lethal force for self-protection.

In order to get a permit to own a firearm, applicants must not only know those rules, but must demonstrate proficiency with the weapon and knowledge of its safe handling, making it far tougher to legally own a gun in South Africa than many other countries where a mere background check suffices.

Pistorius took such a competency test for his 9mm pistol and passed it, according to the police's National Firearms Centre.

Pistorius's license for the 9mm pistol was issued in September 2010. The Olympic athlete and Paralympic medallist should have known that firing blindly, instead of at a clearly identified target, violates basic gun-handling rules, firearms and legal experts said.

"You can't shoot through a closed door," said Andre Pretorius, president of the Professional Firearm Trainers Council, a regulatory body for South African firearms instructors.

Identify target

"People who own guns and have been through the training, they know that shooting through a door is not going to go through South African law as an accident."

"There is no situation in South Africa that allows a person to shoot at a threat that is not identified," Pretorius added.

"Firing multiple shots, it makes it that much worse. ...It could have been a minor - a 15-year-old kid, a 12-year-old kid - breaking in to get food."

The Pistorius family, through Arnold Pistorius, uncle of the runner, has said it is confident that the evidence will prove that Steenkamp's death in the pre dawn hours of 14 February was "a terrible and tragic accident".

In an affidavit to the magistrate who last Friday freed him on bail, Pistorius said he believed an intruder or intruders had got into his two-storey house, in a guarded and gated community with walls topped by electrified fencing, and  were inside the toilet cubicle in his bathroom.

Believing he and Steenkamp "would be in grave danger" if they came out, "I fired shots at the toilet door" with the firearm  that he slept with under his bed, Pistorius testified.

Criminal law experts said that even if the prosecution fails to prove premeditated murder, firing several shots through a closed door could bring a conviction for the lesser but still serious charge of culpable homicide.

Johannesburg attorney Martin Hood, who specialises in firearm law, said South African legislation allows gun owners to use lethal force only if they believe they are facing an immediate, serious and direct attack or threat of attack that could either be deadly or cause grievous injury.

According to Pistorius's own sworn statement read in court, he "did not meet those criteria", said Hood, who is also the spokesperson for the South African Gun Owners' Association.

No threat

"If he fired through a closed door, there was no threat to him. It's as simple as that," he added. "He can't prove an attack on his life ... In my opinion, at the very least, he is guilty of culpable homicide."

The Associated Press e-mailed a request for comment to Vuma, a South African reputation management firm hired by the Pistorius family to handle media questions about the shooting.

The firm replied: "Due to the legal sensitivities around the matter, we cannot at this stage answer any of your questions as it might have legal implications for a case that still has to be tried in a court of law."

Vuma said on Monday it referred the AP's questions to Pistorius's legal team, which by Tuesday had not replied.

Culpable homicide covers unintentional deaths ranging from accidents with no negligence, like a motorist whose brakes fail, killing another road user, "to where it verges on murder or where it almost becomes intentional", said Hood.

Sentences - ranging from fines to prison - are left to courts to determine and are not set by fixed guidelines.

The tough standards for legally acquiring a gun were instituted in part because of a wave of weapons purchases after the end of apartheid in 1994, said Rick De Caris, a former legal director in the SAPS.

Prospective gun owners must now take written exams that include questions on the law, have to show they can safely handle and shoot a gun and are required to hit a target the size of a glossy magazine in 10 of 10 shots from 7m, said Pretorius.

In his affidavit, Pistorius said he wasn't wearing his prosthetic limbs "and felt extremely vulnerable" after hearing noise from the toilet.

"I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom, I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police.

It was pitch-dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed," he testified.

Legal experts said they are puzzled why Pistorius apparently didn't first fire a warning shot to show the supposed intruder he was armed.

Also unanswered is why, after he heard noise in his bathroom that includes the toilet cubicle, Pistorius still went toward the bathroom - toward the perceived danger - rather than retreat back into his bedroom.

"He should have tried to get out of the situation," said Hood, the attorney.

Comments
  • Rouen Heiberg - 2013-02-26 22:42

    Finally some people who know what they are talking about commenting on the issue. Unlike GFSA and their cronies.

      GordonT - 2013-02-26 23:18

      Why did News24 pull my comment? Probably because I expressed a negative view on the current governments efforts on crime, and explained how paranoia is seriously justified in SA because of it.

      GordonT - 2013-02-27 00:23

      News24 is biased reporting based on what they want to hear. It's time for a new, independent news provider.

      Punungwe - 2013-02-27 05:28

      Oscar's own statement basically admits to murder, despite what HE might declare about his innocence. Unfortunately it's not for HIM to decide but for the court. http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Oscars-statement-damns-him-20130220 Shooting a gun four times through a closed door, aiming at the general area where a person sitting on the toilet would be, would take a very long stretch to be passed off as an accident. I believe not even Johnnie Chochrane (OJ's lawyer) could pull that legal trick off let alone Barry Roux (OP's lawyer) http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/Oscars-story-of-what-happened-doesnt-make-sense-20130226

      trevor.bailet - 2013-02-27 09:13

      Legal technicalities aside, if Oscar did not own a gun then Reeva would probably still be alive.

  • adil.smit.5 - 2013-02-26 22:46

    pity the criminals that commit armed robberies,farm and other murders do not adhere to South Africa's gun laws

      Buti Thekiso - 2013-02-26 23:21

      U r lost go 2bed we talking about intentional murder nt robbery.smit

      frans.naude - 2013-02-26 23:52

      Exactly! Lets rape and murder 80 year olds but o'god forbid..

      Harley Mills - 2013-02-27 00:20

      @Buti So you are saying that the "criminals that commit armed robberies,farm and other murders" do it unintentionally?

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-02-27 03:13

      The USA with their relatively relaxed gun laws has a gun murder rate of 6 people per 100 000 population. SA with it's unusually strict gun laws has a gun murder rate of 17 people per 100 000. Makes one think doesn't it

      Mabhesha'nkone ZoSuthu - 2013-02-27 03:36

      No kort.broek, there's nothing to think about. We have strict laws because our gun murder rate was high to begin with. The question is whether the laws have made a difference. The answer is an emphatic yes. Simple as that.

      womba.wonder - 2013-02-27 04:52

      Nobody has a high gun murder rate "to begin with". Everybody has zero gun murder rate to begin with and then they build it up from that zero. And they hold it check by behaving in a way which is non-violent and moral and law-abiding and civilised and fearful of getting caught. If those qualities are missing, it is just not held in check and the gun-murder rate skyrockets.

      godesha - 2013-02-27 07:35

      Kagiso, what does Hendrik Verwoerd have to do with this?

      godesha - 2013-02-27 07:37

      Kortbroek, it would be interesting to see how many of these murders are committed with legal firearms and how many with illegal/stolen firearms. I wonder if there are stats available that could tell us.

      QuestionSam - 2013-02-27 08:40

      @Godesha, I agree, Gun control only targets the lawful.I would love to see stats on murders with registered fire arms.

  • Suthveer Sing - 2013-02-26 22:47

    The answer is simple-he lost his cool and wanted to kill Reeva so he shot-not once but four times-at the door making sure he finished killing the door(oops sorry-Reeva)

      Bradley Brits - 2013-02-26 22:59

      Nobody with any sense can honestly say they believe that after police being called out for a domestic dispute 2 hours before the shooting, and despite walking past the bed 3 times he didn't check she was in the bed and not in the toilet. No judge with two brain cells will believe his story. Its just so implausible. Even Nair suggested as much.. Maybe they'll let him share a cell with his brother?

      GordonT - 2013-02-27 01:16

      Seriously.... everyone comments here with a cool mind. I have faced people breaking into my house. I would shoot first and ask questions later. This is not a unique phenomenon. This is a result of the ANC's lack of action on hardcore crime. SA is cesspit of horror. If you don't believe me now, lucky you for avoiding the inevitable. If you've been a victim, you will know Oscar is well justified for taking potshots.

      Jason Van der Spuy - 2013-02-27 03:14

      So GordonT, if you hear noises in your bathroom and suspects it's an intruder, will you fetch your gun and shoot through the door to kill? Knowing that you will go to jail for it?? If you are that dumb, then it's probably best that they get you behind bars asap

      TheJaydedKing - 2013-02-27 06:44

      Sorry but GordonT is right. Nothing is normal when ppl are in your house. The situation is above logic and reason, we were held in our house for 4.5hours, the entire time felt like a dream. To this day my kids still cant deal with it and my family is somewhat broken. A gun wouldnt of helped me as i woke up with them holding my daughter in the passageway, but give me that time back and i would shoot them through a closed door, an open door or any other obstacle for that matter.

      Koo Doyle - 2013-02-27 07:31

      "It could have been a minor - a 15-year-old kid, a 12-year-old kid - breaking in to get food" - Ja, not likely. From what we read in the papers, it was more likely to be someone armed to the teeth intent on murder or worse, had it been an intruder.

      zapadela.tistarocha - 2013-02-27 08:33

      @ Gordon & Jayded, This life of Fear is laughable...... Kill your own loved ones' like others have done in the past with this fearful mentality..........

  • Miandra van Zyl - 2013-02-26 22:56

    Thank you experts for that info, but media 24 why reporting the whole story again, with every article the same story??

  • Jacques - 2013-02-26 22:58

    I'm relieved to hear about these laws- but why then are citizens charged with murder when they shoot intruders? I remember reading a story where a paralysed man shot an intruder who attacked him in his bed and the article ended with 'a murder docket has been opened'?

      Bradley Brits - 2013-02-26 23:08

      Its standard legal procedure for murder docket to be opened for every shooting. It gets investigated and the charges are then withdrawn immediately. In this case they've persisted with premeditated murder instead of withdrawing charges.. well.. because he murdered her.

      Jacques - 2013-02-26 23:23

      Which makes sense, but it can't be cool going for a job interview or credit check or loan or whatever with a court appearance for murder on your name, even though charges get withdrawn. Surely it calls for a specific classification of charge if your're not the guilty party for the crime- being breaking and entering and/or attempted murder? Just my layman's opinion.

      Bradley Brits - 2013-02-26 23:33

      Its not an issue if charges are withdrawn because there will be nothing on your record to show you were even investigated.

      Jacques - 2013-02-27 07:55

      Shot! (That's a terrible pun)

  • Crracker - 2013-02-26 23:07

    Give me my Malema any day! The OP story is getting stale.

      kortbroek.duplessis - 2013-02-27 03:24

      Who is this Malemma guy again? Is that not the one the tax man is after?

  • Katleho Soul-Provider Moji - 2013-02-26 23:12

    Finally someone is doin their job! He maybe not guilty but according to SA law his guilty as charged!

  • nurse.helenk - 2013-02-26 23:17

    Finally we hear an expert confirm what many people have been thinking for days. Good luck to OP. I hope the Memorial service went well.

      kari.pentikainen.7 - 2013-02-26 23:44

      Even in 1984 SANDF prescribed minimum force and I would still be in jail if I had ignored those orders.

      frans.naude - 2013-02-27 00:03

      You think i am gonna wait for intruders to show their faces and shoot first by opening the door in a country where 80/90 year old defenseless ppl get murdered and raped every day?? Good luck! It was an accident! In this country, unfortunately things are so bad one cant help feel scared! So said the girl who was raped at 3 months old, cause it cures aids...

      nurse.helenk - 2013-02-27 00:05

      hey frans, you ever heard of a warning shot?

      WildCatSal - 2013-02-27 01:56

      Yes Frans..? Nurse.helenk asks a very good question.

      arne.verhoef - 2013-02-27 07:30

      Frans, are you a 80 or 90 year old woman? If not, stop using that as the base of your shoot first ask questions later argument. Oscar is guilty. Manslaughter or murder, he is guilty. This "but the 80 year old.." thing is getting staler quicker than the OP case, and your argument thinner than his.

      arc.con.98 - 2013-02-27 09:07

      Frans, once you have made sure of where all your loved once are, you can fire away at will at a intruders. That's the crux of the whole article: DO NOT fire at unidentfied targets.

  • AntonB - 2013-02-26 23:20

    It is not true that culpable homicide covers the death of another person where there was no negligence. The very elements of culpable homicide are 1)unlawfulness 2)negligence 3)killing 4) of another human being. The difference between muder and culpable homicide lies exactly in the fact that in murder the killing is intentional while in culpable homicide it is due to negligence. Where a court cannot find that a person was negligent in the killing of another person, the court cannot convict that person. The court will rule that it was just an unforseeable unfortunate accident. The acquittal of the accused in the case involving the death of ex-president Mandela's granddaughter is an example of such a finding.

      nurse.helenk - 2013-02-26 23:27

      So how exactly was he not negligent? He shot someone through a closed door, sight unseen, four times, without finding out if they were a threat to him or who was in there. He didn't see the intruder, the intruder didn't verbally or physically threaten him. I'm not attacking you, I'm just curious how this is not negligence?

      Bradley Brits - 2013-02-26 23:42

      And this is even more than culpable homicide. This is murder. The very fact that he put 4 bullets through the door instead of eg 1 single shot will show his intent to kill whoever was inside the bathroom. Plus when the rest of the crime scene is revealed and everything is put together he's going for life. Just wait and see.

      AntonB - 2013-02-27 05:47

      I'm not saying Oscar was not neglegent. I'm referring to the attorney who the mentioned in the article's assertion that culpable homicide covers incidents where there was no negligence. I'm saying that that is not correct.

  • raven.jimmy - 2013-02-26 23:30

    byeleveld confirmed this a week ago in an interview but very discreetly.Its old news already.

  • Salomé Van Rensburg Bezuidenhout - 2013-02-26 23:38

    Oh well clever, clever, clever you tell us something we all know and Oscar admitted too. You seriously think that all News24 readers are idiots that need that explaining. Real life not training is a different story, you should now start training the rest of SA combat tactics and drill that into our minds to make us like the thousands and thousands of troops just reacting to a voice. OH wait you were not there to tell him to hold his fire. We all know how to drive K53 stands for defensive driving. Do we see accidents where people die, Yes, is that homecide, it should be, since we all went for our licenses and the law states that we should not have an accident if we use defensive driving, think for the other person. Same here, it took you no less than 12 days to have figured this out, he had milliseconds to react to fear.

  • frans.naude - 2013-02-26 23:51

    So i am gonna leave the intruder to open the door or shoot at me first... In this country where 90 year old farm owners get murdered and six month old babies get raped to be released by zuma after six months in jail... I dont think so!!!!

      Sibusiso Fawuli - 2013-02-27 00:03

      this is a drunk comment, why do u always have to drag politics even if u see the truth is written! Ur friend Oscar shd just admit wat he did instead of trying to involve th ANC. Couples usually fight on valentines but Oscar got more than angry there nd could not handle!

      womba.wonder - 2013-02-27 01:07

      Frans, if you choose to break the law you must also accept that you will face the consequences of the choice you've made.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 06:59

      Frans, everyone understands the difference between a real threat and a claimed threat. If you're 90 and you shoot, and the police find a real rapist or burglar or robber, you've got a foot to try stand on. If they DON'T, you're in trouble. THAT's the thing. If the robber rapist or torturer or killer breaks in, they will usually BREAK A WINDOW. Or the DOGS will bark. Or the police will find a GUN or a PANGA or a whatever. Or THEY will have force open a door. Or something. This case is exactly the OPPOSITE. The "killers" had climbed up an 8 m wall after getting over a 10m wall with electrical fence in a security complex, on the side that the dogs are at, and the dogs didn't bark. After getting in the toilet, the killers in this case LOCKED the door from the INSIDE. Come on. Use your brain. There's a BIG DIFFERENCE between this case and the ordinary farm or township rape, torture or murder.

      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-02-27 07:06

      AGREED

  • Thembinkosi Jozie - 2013-02-27 00:45

    I can't believe that there are some people who still believe oscar's lies. He got his gun from under the bed and he was expecting a gun fight in the house but he didn't wake her up to warn her of the danger in the house so that she can take cover while she is phoning the security? Even children won't believe thi fairy tale

  • Tau Motaung - 2013-02-27 00:55

    I don't know much about guns so I'd like to ask any avid gun owners out there a question which may be some what stupid...When do bullet casings break off the actual bullet because from what I understand, OP shot Reeva through the locked bathroom door...Did the casings go through the closed door like the bullet?

      Rouen Heiberg - 2013-02-27 01:19

      When the round goes off the expanding gasses from the exploding powder forces the tip out of the casing at high speed and out of the barrel. That same force pushes the empty casing back and makes the slide move. When the slide moves back the casing is ejected from the side of the gun. When the slide returns to its original position it slides a new round into the barrel. With a revolver the empty casings stay in the gun. Google it for some illustrations. BUT, nothing happens unless somebody pulls the trigger. Guns don't work by themselves!

      DrAsh Dental Surgeon - 2013-02-27 06:39

      I remember reading somewhere that a casing was found in the toilet bowl . Is that true . If it is it means that he was in the toilet when he was shooting and not behind th door.

  • womba.wonder - 2013-02-27 01:01

    Extracts from a widely used firearms instruction manual in South Africa, produced by the International Training Academy, which explains to prospective handgun owners that they can only use lethal force in certain circumstances: "There must be an attack against you, or a third party whom you are trying to protect.'' "The attack must be against a person i.e. a threat to life and not property.'' "The attack must be about to start or must already have begun.'' "You cannot pre-emptively kill someone to stop an attack when that attack is not imminent or about to start, i.e. you cannot kill someone now to prevent an attack later.'' "Remember, if you can avoid the use of force you have a legal obligation to do so.'' "The law requires that if you can avoid a confrontation, you must take reasonable steps to do so e.g. by leaving the scene, if escape is possible. If you do not try to escape, when it is possible, it may be argued that you contributed towards the confrontation and therefore your actions in using force were not legally justifiable.'' Source: International Training Academy's official handgun instruction manual required under South Africa's Firearm Control Act of 2000.

  • David Modisane - 2013-02-27 01:19

    Identify the target,beware of the target and what is beyond the target and consider the direction of the projectile

  • Mphela Wa Ga Matjie - 2013-02-27 01:19

    Yippie! Finally something they can hang onto to prosecute the guy.Mxm boring

      Liam Doherty - 2013-02-27 02:46

      I agree! I am bored reading and hearing about this farce of a story.

  • Tom Smith - 2013-02-27 02:08

    Why Oscar is definitely guilty.... Too many improbables equal an impossible. Oscar sleeping just on this night on the other side of the bed...if you have a sore shoulder just sleep other way around no need to change sides of bed...improbable Oscar hearing a noise in bathroom and not instinctively looking down at the bed directly in front of him to check whether the noise was due to the only other known person in the house...improbable Oscar not checking to see if gf had also heard noise or was awake. ..some form of interaction with your gf less than 2 metres away...improbable Per Oscar room was too dark to see gf in bed but he was able to walk around bed and find gun in the darkness...improbable He walked around bed picked up gun walked out room and only then made an attempt to wake his gf by shouting call the cops...improbable On shouting ..gf did not respond in any way whatsoever other than locking toilet door..although she would have heard oscar very close by...improbable From time Oscar shouted to time he shot per his story it must have been very quick...in this time gf pulled pants up and locked door but did not respond to him in any way Oscar per his story felt vulnerable ...if vulnerable why go into bathroom where danger was.. without legs on... and why go in at all...improbable Per his story he was protecting himself and his gf...but he doesn't check on her before leaving her in the room? Or stay with her?...improbable He shoots 4 times..excessively... into a tiny room ...per stats this more likely happens in a crime of passion rather than self defence..improbable 2 separate witnesses given evidence that conflicts with his story...one saying heard fighting before ...one saying saw lights on....now even with the issue with the distance...what are the chances that they are both wrong...improbable After one shot or even 2 his gf made no noise to make him aware it was her...whether by a scream in pain...a groan etc. He claims that only once he got all the way back to his bed did he think it may be her...she would've made a recognisable noise....improbable to believe she didn't Sorry Oscar far too many improbables. ... which equals your account being impossible to believe for a reasonable person.

  • Tom Smith - 2013-02-27 02:24

    Why Oscar is definitely guilty.... Too many improbables equal an impossible. Oscar sleeping just on this night on the other side of the bed...if you have a sore shoulder just sleep other way around no need to change sides of bed...improbable Oscar hearing a noise in bathroom and not instinctively looking down at the bed directly in front of him to check whether the noise was due to the only other known person in the house...improbable Oscar not checking to see if gf had also heard noise or was awake. ..some form of interaction with your gf less than 2 metres away...improbable Per Oscar room was too dark to see gf in bed but he was able to walk around bed and find gun in the darkness...improbable He walked around bed picked up gun walked out room and only then made an attempt to wake his gf by shouting call the cops...improbable On shouting ..gf did not respond in any way whatsoever other than locking toilet door..although she would have heard oscar very close by...improbable From time Oscar shouted to time he shot per his story it must have been very quick...in this time gf pulled pants up and locked door but did not respond to him in any way Oscar per his story felt vulnerable ...if vulnerable why go into bathroom where danger was.. without legs on... and why go in at all...improbable Per his story he was protecting himself and his gf...but he doesn't check on her before leaving her in the room? Or stay with her?...improbable He shoots 4 times..excessively... into a tiny room ...per stats this more likely happens in a crime of passion rather than self defence..improbable 2 separate witnesses given evidence that conflicts with his story...one saying heard fighting before ...one saying saw lights on....now even with the issue with the distance...what are the chances that they are both wrong...improbable After one shot or even 2 his gf made no noise to make him aware it was her...whether by a scream in pain...a groan etc. He claims that only once he got all the way back to his bed did he think it may be her...she would've made a recognisable noise....improbable to believe she didn't Sorry Oscar far too many improbables. ... which equals your account being impossible to believe for a reasonable person.

      Isu Jo - 2013-02-27 02:38

      they should have checked his legs for gun shot residue-but doubt it Reeva should have put the slippers on but they were by the side of the bed and she surely would have turned a light on? how would you know to shoot spot on target at someone sitting -like a girl and not standing?

      merc.hammy - 2013-02-27 03:33

      And to think she also decided to go to the bath/toilet without switching lights on like him,imagine groping her way in pitch darkness to the toilet......... Another huge improbability

      Arn Abe - 2013-02-27 07:55

      Very good summation of all the problems with his version of events. Agree with you, Tom. Too many improbabilities!

  • Dan Moore - 2013-02-27 03:23

    As an American gunower when I kept a loaded gun under the bed the first thing I did before pulling it out was to touch my wife's side of bed to ensure she was still there. And from what I have read over several days while it is supposed to be hard to get a gun in SA there are illegal guns everywhere. Why do all these criminals have such an easy time getting a gun then? Why are so many crimes committed with a gun if it's so hard to get?

      Maneo Molefe - 2013-02-27 04:46

      Wow! U r so deluded about ur america it is impossible to ignore u, u don't have horrific crimes in america? let me inform u, cause u have no clue what is happening in ur own messed up backyard. I watched a programe on tv an american guy murdered a woman, took out all her internal organs

      Maneo Molefe - 2013-02-27 05:26

      Flashed them in a toilet, america a capital of massacre killings. I hate it when an OUTSIDER spew rubbish about South Africa more so if he is an american.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 07:04

      Exactly. The court's gonna ask "Will the reasonable man that 'loves his girlfriend and believe she's the one'" have CHECKED that she's safe first, or not.

      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-02-27 07:09

      Hard to get it legally. But so easy to get it illegally.

      Zahir - 2013-02-27 07:38

      The current govt gives criminals unlimited rights murder is not seen as a serious crime vs not paying tax guns can be bought or rented by criminals people are killed for a cellphone even less

      yam.yam.90813 - 2013-02-27 08:30

      Dan, the reason is that so many guns have been acquired by criminals during robberies. Or they are sold to criminals by corrupt police officers. It is easy to get an unlicensed firearm here because of a lot of negligence on the part of gun owners who often will not admit to a weapon being stolen because of the penalties. Not so easy to get ammunition though.

  • Dan Moore - 2013-02-27 03:31

    As mentioned below us Americans own a lot of guns but have nearly the gun deaths. As I started educating myself about the horrible violence in SA compared to America I try to understand why there are so many more gun deaths in SA. There is a greater respect for life in America. Women get raped everywhere, including America, but disemboweling women after raping them WTF is wrong with poor blacks in townships? That is savage behavior not human. And who in their right mind thinks raping a virgin baby will get rid of AIDS? Wow talk about low IQ that is the thinking of the stone age!

      womba.wonder - 2013-02-27 05:00

      In the USA, they used to burn people alive. At the behest of the Christian priests and with the approval of the State. Google Salem Witch trials.

      T-bos Man - 2013-02-27 06:16

      Dan, are you saying in America you kill less than In South Africa with your guns, and by the way is Oscar a poor black man from the townships? I have a feeling the America you talking about is not on this planet.

      Thulani Mthombeni-Five Skhibhas Treble - 2013-02-27 06:21

      Dts becoz some of the nonsense going dwn in America isn't reported by your patriotic media...so get off your high horse...as for the nameless people Liking your comment-surely they are as narrow minded as you!!!

      bruce.arnett.18 - 2013-02-27 07:19

      I love SA but the stats speak for themselves. Homicide in the States is about 3.5 deaths per 100 000 population per year. The figure for SA is around 34. Ten times higher.

      Alexandra J. Little - 2013-02-27 07:24

      Greater respect for life?? This is why you declare war at a drop of a hat?? Because you respect life? Don't come here with your nonsense. Does your media report everything, or are they just as high on this American dream drug?

      yam.yam.90813 - 2013-02-27 08:35

      There is a social problem with the way women and children are treated as sex objects to be used and disposed of, a symptom of our violent history. The police do not treat these as serious crimes, they are overflowing with rape kits and very few cases get reported or even prosecuted. But I think the case of Anene has a lot to do with tik... it is not a normal case, even by South African standards. We are in deep, deep trouble. I want to see the men of South Africa march against rape. Show us you're serious... report your friends. Stand up to men you know like to do these things.

      yam.yam.90813 - 2013-02-27 08:40

      Why are you all attacking Dan instead of discussing this like rational human beings? This aggressiveness is part and parcel of the reason why we are in the mess we are in. Its a fact that SA is uncontrollably violent and it affects us all. Americans have their own problems with random nutters shooting everyone in sight. Let's try come up with sensible solutions together!

  • gary.gordon.961993 - 2013-02-27 04:36

    Many people tend to confuse the law with logic and common sense. One comment was "What if I'm an old lady and if they come out from the bathroom they are gonna attack me?" This is a logical question but the law sees it differently. If my mother was in such a situation I would hope she would shoot first and be safe. Our law disagrees with this, I would imagine that Oscar's lawyers are going to play the poor disabled card to death. They still have a problem with that though - disabled or not he fired more than one shot at a human being behind a closed door. Human beings do not get shot and remain silent. They scream. After that first shot any normal "burglar" would at least shout to stop being shot at again. The fact that he shot three more times at the sound of a woman screaming in shock and/or pain behind that door, without knowing where his female partner in the house was, suggests to me that Reeva was his intended target. Whether he is given a hundred years or ten years this is my opinion and it shall remain so forever. If anything about the cricket bat that, according to the medical examiner's report, has now become the state's "strongest case" is less than media rumour then the only running Oscar will be doing will be will be around a prison yard.

  • Lilly Phogole - 2013-02-27 04:51

    Enough already news24 Oscar this n that yhoo everything to do with poor Oscar is now boring yhoo haai. He murdered Reeva n will have to live with that guilt fo the rest of his life so leave poor man alone.

      Michael Jackwood - 2013-02-27 05:17

      Oscar Pistorius name will be dominating everywhere, this time for all wrong reasons, rather you take a break from reading news websites.

      Khonjiswa Mahlangu - 2013-02-27 07:31

      @lilly.. And why don't u focus on what you getting paid for.

  • Michael Jackwood - 2013-02-27 05:07

    How can she walk from bed to the bathroom without switching lights on, and to lock herself in, that means she was trying to potect herself somehow, this guy's lies dont add up, even a 100 years old granny can secure prosecution here.

      wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-02-27 07:10

      I never turn the light on to go to the loo. I know where it is

  • Peter Zylstra - 2013-02-27 05:16

    Why did he not first fire a warning shot? If he did not murder Reeva then he purposefully killed her, so then he is a killer! A reputation to be proud of!

  • Gary Doyle - 2013-02-27 05:31

    My guess is there'll be jail time at the end of this trial, his lawyer$ will be fighting to keep him out but will know it's more about trying for a reduced conviction and sentense than him walking away with a suspended sentense.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 07:05

      Well, if he gets loose, this thing is going to turn political. Because then the ANCYL and their pathetic yellow, green and black brigade friends are going to go: SEE. He's WHITE. He's RICH. He better get a decent sentence for whatever the court finds he'd done.

  • lambertus.louw - 2013-02-27 05:44

    I'm surprised at the ignorance of this so-called expert "Hood". He still refers to the urban legend of firing a warning shot when in fact no such inference exists in law. One might actually say that firing a warning shot would be in most cases negligent or dangerous...I mean where are you supposed to aim at? In Oscars case, should have shot at the tiled floor and risk a dangerous ricochet? Or perhaps the roof and risk it piercing the roof, flying into the air and coming down on someone else perhaps hundreds of meters away and killing them? Shall I go on?

      dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 07:07

      Come on. The court doesn't operate this rigid. Instead of firing a warning shot. How about "HONEY, IS IT YOU IN HERE?"

      Sharon Gien-Cambier - 2013-02-27 07:35

      Lambertus, i agree with u 100% on this. what i would love to know is why on earth did he not phone security of the complex...they would have phoned the police and come to investigate. thats what the security guards are there for. i mean the man feels so vulnerable, he has the balcony door open? he said he got up sometime in the night to close the balcony door and to bring in the fan? that part alone is senseless to me, as is the rest of the case.

  • T-bos Man - 2013-02-27 05:52

    Two people know the truth of which unfortunately the other one is dead leaving the living one vulnerable and lying to the world. I wasn't there and I can't say what exactly happened but now we going to make use of what we learn from school. Solving the puzzle that is Oscar but in doing so,let's not forget that a life was lost so no matter how much money he has, justice must be served.

  • Mokgadi M Masete - 2013-02-27 06:08

    ...It could have been a minor - a 15-year-old kid, a 12-year-old kid - breaking in to get food. So, this makes it okay to break into some1's house?

      womba.wonder - 2013-02-27 06:45

      Nobody's making that claim. But the LAW is clear -- if you shoot a child burglar (especially an unarmed one) you have grossly exceeded your legal rights by using excessive force and you will be charged and convicted.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 07:08

      Doesn't matter. This is about Oscar's own hypothesis. What if it was a burglar trying to steal Oscar's gold plated toilet? (Not that it is such, but gain, this is about his own hypothesis). Would he have been entitled to use lethal force on someone who did that? The law says NO.

  • Annelien Jones - 2013-02-27 06:28

    My question still stands: How did did spent bullet cartridge land in the toilet bowl if the door was not open?

      Angela Carr - 2013-02-27 07:27

      Good question. Can someone answer this?

      Mandisa Mandy Mhlongo - 2013-02-27 08:11

      No one can,coz no one was there except 4 Oscar an Reeva......So do wat everyone does best and speculate!

      Karl van Rooyen - 2013-02-27 08:13

      Was it a cartridge or was it the projectile ?

  • Lesiba Christopher - 2013-02-27 06:28

    My simple suspicion.a poor Reeva n Pistorius had argument n she ran to the toilet n pistorius decided to shoot thru the door since well he culdnt get thru.how can he shoot not knowing whereabouts of his girlfriend?pistorius shuld tell the truth

  • Ren - 2013-02-27 06:47

    Exactly!!! Believe me he knew all these rules but at the time of the shooting his blinding rage took hold of him!!

  • dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 06:47

    I've been pointing these things out right from the start. However, the Oscar-fans keep screaming "Stop judging" and "God says don't judge". God gave you, me, and everyone a brain to QUESTION things. I don't judge the MAN. I judge his THEORY, which doesn't make sense, and I judge his ACTIONS. I won't say things like 'Burn in hell', but I WILL say things like ' GOOD LUCK ANSWERING THOSE TOUGH QUESTIONS '. Fact is that someone is dead and everyone goes 'Oh, poor Oscar'. The moment someone is killed on a farm or in a township where there is CLEAR EVIDENCE they all hypocritical go "Yeah, bring back the death penalty". But not that it's Oscar, they go "Don't judge. He's not been proven guilty". He WILL be proven guilty of either MURDER (whether pre-medidated or not) or CULPABLE HOMICIDE, unless the judge falls for HIS version, which includes 16 serious flaws. And to make matters worse, his lawyers advised him to IMMEDIATELY released a FULL statement. So he can't go back and change some points of his statement to fit those 16 flaws. THAT'S WHY I SAY : GOOD LUCK ANSWERING THOSE TOUGH QUESTIONS. And the way I see it, it's sad that not ALL murder accused have access to PR teams and image polishers or lawyers that cost thousands an hour. Our law should forbid that in the first place. But nevertheless. (The good thing is that Roux et al will pocket big time, whether they succeed in proving him innocent or not.

      dewaldmontgomery - 2013-02-27 07:02

      And that's why most genuine lawyers will advise you (whether you're guilty or not) (1) keep quiet (2) say the minimum (3) offer your statement when you've come to terms. And that's why it's a bad thing to get PR people on board right away. Nothing WRONG with that, but it was the wrong thing to do within 72 hours of the incident.

  • poplap.mozes - 2013-02-27 07:03

    The fact still remains.... Reeva was not armed, and a life was taken, Oscar must pay for taking her life finish and klaar, no excuses, I am all for justice!

  • wendy.barnett.1238 - 2013-02-27 07:05

    Breaking in to get food? In a toilet?

      Mandisa Mandy Mhlongo - 2013-02-27 08:08

      Twice that my husband an I have experienced burglars,breakin in an lock themselves in the bathroom.......Twice!

      yam.yam.90813 - 2013-02-27 08:46

      small toilet window is usually the easiest way in..

  • Antoinette Espach - 2013-02-27 07:06

    What about the dad who shot his 10 year old girl through his bedroom door last year? Also thinking it was robbers?

      Vicki Malatse - 2013-02-27 07:41

      Did he fíre 4 shots,did the neighbors hear the father and daughter argue?

      bruce.arnett.18 - 2013-02-27 08:16

      And in that case there actually were intruders in the house at the time so a poor comparison.

  • richard.young.1253236 - 2013-02-27 07:15

    This is exactly what I've been saying on this site for nearly two weeks. What hasn't been ventilated is the aspect of negligence, in particular its severity and how this effects both the levels of culpability and sanction. In my view, in this case the negligence is so gross, so severe, that is raises yculpability to Schedule 5 and sanction to a very long stretch in the pen .

  • jimmy.walls.90 - 2013-02-27 07:31

    Guilty. And he will run before June.

      Aubrey Danca - 2013-02-27 08:16

      This incident is confusing every1,i think oscar is a father of confusion since he confuses evry1.but oscar deserves jail because when he got a bail out,now he is not out in mourn but out for a jol

  • Anneke van Wyk - 2013-02-27 07:34

    Circumstantial evidence has it that Oscar Pistorius shot another human being through a locked door in cold blood. It does not matter who has been shot. He is cold and aggressive and were determined to kill.

  • joe.laubscher.3 - 2013-02-27 07:37

    Mabhesha'nkone: so you say that the criminals and armed robbers,rapist highjackers etc abide to the gun laws,please, catch a wake up I agree with Adil Smit,Harley Mills and all the other South Africans that detest murder, rape and unneccesary killing of innocent people.

  • Nadia Hoffmann - 2013-02-27 07:38

    Oh so it is okay to break into someone's house as long as you only steal food?

      Lee Brand - 2013-02-27 07:54

      Its not ok, but its also not ok to execute the person who is no threat to you.

  • Alan Street - 2013-02-27 07:39

    How often is there only 1 burglar ? Uhm

  • Lee Brand - 2013-02-27 07:52

    Exactly. He was judge jury and executioner to the unknown person behind the door.

  • Wike Mood - 2013-02-27 08:06

    ...or a 12 or 13 year old to steal my tv,laptop etc,and murder me.

  • Robert Reeve - 2013-02-27 08:15

    There is no provision for a warning shots or "prophylactic fire," in civil unrest because of the risk to innocent by-standers. Only teargas, rubber bullets or plastic bullets, but never sharp point ammunition. He shot his bokke on the potty, through a closed toilet door. Oscar fully intended doing servere bodily harm to the occupant, which was his admitted intention inspired by alleged uncontrollable fear. If this remains his only motive, unless a prior violent domestic dispute is proved, it may in both cases stand as murder through a deminished sense of responsibilty. This case does not fit the criteria for cupable homicide.

      richard.young.1253236 - 2013-02-27 08:54

      @Robert This crime may not be Culpable Homicide, but it is certainly culpable homicide. In my view it is at least murder, albeit maybe not planned murder. It may be found to be premediated murder, in which case this matter might make precedent law. I would like that.

  • Kaya Dada - 2013-02-27 08:20

    I dont understand why most of you guys are pretending to be stupid. The fact is, Oscar viciously murdered a young woman in cold blood. Have you even seen the floor plan of Oscars room? Its imposible that he did not see that Reeva was not next to him in bed when he made his way to the bathroom. Is it because he is legless and white that ure defending him? Open your eyes people. Oscar is evil to the core! Stop being in denial!

      Robert Reeve - 2013-02-27 08:38

      Why the race card Kaya? Read the rest of the comments, most whites see this as bad as a black intruder attacking a white in the toilet with a panga! We're all God's children and the Lord says: "Thou shalt not kill."

  • Dudley Hendricks - 2013-02-27 08:21

    The law state very clearly, you only allowed to use deadly force when your life or someone else's life is in direct danger, technically you not allowed to protect your property with deadly force but only a life!

  • Graham de Klerk - 2013-02-27 08:27

    To hell with the theory of "feared for his life" OR "accident" what ever the reason he states. Where the frikken hell is there a rule/law that states a person can be the accuser, Judge and Excecutioner all at the same time. For the simple fact that the guy owned a fire-arm, was not part of a fire-arm sporting body and was prepared to use it to take a life, and does so, is MURDER, even more so where it cannot be confirmed that there IS a threat before you that your own life is in danger, and as thus, that person must be tried as such, PREMEDITATED MURDER!

  • Anton - 2013-02-27 08:45

    Just a question in general> Say i do shoot a intruder in my house, in my bedroom what will happen. 1 I can see that i will get arrested and if that happens over a weekend they will keep me in jail till monday ( with hardened Criminals) before they can take me to court. 2 Now i need to get an attorney to get me out on bail, remember the state wants to prove that the intruder was not in my house to harm me but to get food and a few drinks. 3 I loose a day or two income becuase im am not at work. 4 I gets branded as a murderer 5 When the case evetually comes up i need to get an advocate to prove my case at a very high cost 4 day in court could cost R700 000.00 if i read correctly from The Oscar case 6 Again a couple of days from work Remember the state wants to proof that i as law abbiding citizen are guilty 7 If lucky i will get away with man slaughter 8 Again some people will say Theres the guy who killed somebody 9 By the end i might be financially ruined Just asking?

  • Angela Carr - 2013-02-27 08:46

    Reeva apparently SMS her Joburg "dad" @ 1030 pm saying she was staying over and would see them in the morning. All was ok at this time, so why would they get into an argument at 3am? It just does not make any sense. Also he said he brought in the fan from the balcony and closed the doors and curtains, hence it was "pitch black" in the bedroom, so couldn't see if gf was in bed, and just presumed she was. What happened next is anybody's guess. Crazy story" Guess we,ll have to wait for trial to fill in the gaps.