What really happened, Oscar?

Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
Sport24 columnist Graeme Joffe (File)
It’s created one of the biggest media frenzies in South Africa and international press crews are still clamouring for the real story. But will anyone ever get it?

The BBC’s documentary title, “Oscar Pistorius: What Really Happened” was perhaps a little misleading as the only one who really knows what happened that Valentine’s morning is Oscar himself and he obviously wasn’t interviewed for the programme.

So, still so many unanswered questions, some of which may or not come out in the trial.

There’s seldom a day that goes by without someone mentioning the tragic story and just this week, I met someone who was at the table next to Oscar’s when the gun went off in Tasha’s earlier this year.

She said there was a scary silence at the sound of the blast but that no-one really knew what it was.

“A small commotion ensued but everything returned to normal in the restaurant fairly quickly without too much fuss”.

Chatting to some a little closer to the tragedy, one gets the feeling that Oscar is going to find it very, very hard to convince the court that the death of girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, was just an accident.

Many legal experts agree and believe his affidavit for the bail hearing was not necessary and that the prosecution now holds all the aces.

Only time will tell.

The question that bothers most is how did Oscar not notice that Reeva wasn’t in the bed when he picked up the gun and proceeded to shoot through the bathroom door and after one shot, would she not have said something for him to realise it wasn’t an intruder?

"I fail to understand how I could be charged with murder, let alone premeditated murder, as I had no intention to kill my girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp" - Oscar.

Regardless, he has admitted to shooting and killing Reeva in his affidavit and he has left a family reeling.

Money will never bring Reeva back but one just hopes that Oscar has in some way compensated the Steenkamp family for their loss. If you love someone, it should be very easy to do.

Right now, that would be the least he could do.

I’ve recently run into some people from Pretoria who know someone via, via who believes they can shed more light on “what really happened”. 

The common themes range from: Text messages sent or received, possessiveness, jealousy, untouchable, former girlfriends and other incidents of rage not yet known to the public.      

What is now known to the public is that Oscar is free to compete again after his bail conditions were relaxed.

But a spokesperson for the world governing body of athletics (IAAF) said: "All invitations are at the discretion of the meeting organisers, and not the IAAF."

So, it remains to be seen just how many invites the “Blade Runner” will get and will the sponsors come running back?

I have serious doubts.

The whole story will always be so sad and tragic as Reeva will never be able to compete on the modelling ramps again.

What really happened: Oscar Pistorius? 

One thing you can never take away from Oscar is what he has achieved on the track and the inspiration he has been for millions of people around the world.

Speaking on SportsFire last week, Samkelo Radebe, who was part of the SA 4x100m relay team who won gold at the 2012 Paralympic Games in London said: “Oscar has always been someone that I’ve looked up to. He has inspired me by what he has achieved and it was an honour to be part of the same relay team that won gold in London. Oscar is a role model for what he has done for disabled athletes and he has put disability sport on the map in South Africa.”   

Few can argue with that.

I was working in the USA in June 1994 and I will never forget the day of the OJ Simpson car chase through the streets of Los Angeles. The police chasing the white Ford Bronco is still fresh in my memory.    
Millions of people were glued to their televisions.

The morning headlines of February 14, 2013 will be the same.

The world media have chased the Oscar story since then, but no-one seems to be any closer to finding out what really happened.

Chief prosecutor Gerrie Nel said there is a possibility that the Pistorius' trial will begin by the end of the year.

The murder trial in which OJ was a defendant lasted for nine months. The jury deliberated for four hours and OJ was found not guilty. 

The million dollar question is: Will Oscar be found guilty or not guilty?

SA is divided and if some of the legal decisions of March 28, 2013 (Andries Tatane et al) are anything to go by, then we should expect the unexpected.   

Meanwhile, just to let you know, SASCOC have laid complaints with the Press Ombudsman about a select few of my recent columns.

I’m just waiting to be given the green light to publish my response. Can’t wait!

Email Graeme at: graeme@butterbean.co.za

Catch Graeme Joffe on SportsFire every Monday and Thursday at 17:30 on Radio Today, 1485am in JHB, National on DStv audio channel 169 and streaming worldwide on www.1485.org.za. Follow Graeme Joffe on Twitter: @joffersmyboy

Sport24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on Sport24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Sport24.
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