A thunderous Applause for Gerrie Nel, Barry Roux, Judge Masipa and the People on Twitter and Facebook

2014-10-22 04:32

Finally Justice has had its way in the Court Trial of Mr Oscar Pistorius.

The justice system, as we all know, is the sum total of the rules and regulations as well as the enforcement mechanism in any society. So important is the justice system that it is impossible to think of a society without it. The justice system is based on the solid pillars of fixed laws and rules.

But still, the legal system is not an automaton, inflexible machine, being an apparatus operated by human beings, to that extent is it important to grasp the impulses that drive the operators. In other words, while it is necessary to understand the rules that establishes the justice system, it is even more imperative to understand the attitudinal, socio-psychological chemistry and values of lawyers, judges, and other actors within the legal system.

So how the backgrounds and values of the participants in this court case played out? Let us find out.

At the centre of this case you had Judge Thokozile Masipa, a trained social worker at the foundational level of his career.  After 16 years as a Judge she has mastered the art of separating (at the subliminal level) the false tales from the truth.

Judge Thokozile Masipa, a graduate in Social Work (something she is very proud of), is also a master of human psychology. She was always tenderly supportive of the witnesses when taking their stands, but without interfering: A woman of great faith. We are told that she is always trusting in God and divine Grace in her work as a Judge.

Judge Thokozile Masipa provided the ambience, personality, and even more importantly, the strength of character and vision. She single handedly carried the court case on her shoulders through and through in the midst of facebook and twitter bombs thrown on her. It was a principled stand that was characteristic of her.

Then there was Gerrie Nel with the toughness of a policeman. No doubt Gerrie Nel is a clever, methodical and intelligent man, perhaps the brainy prosecutor South Africa ever had. The work of a prosecutor is essentially that of a policeman. A police man is interested in facts and takes nothing for granted. Facts are more important than showing empathy and compassion.

Then there was Barry Roux. To be honest every time I saw Barry Roux standing up, he reminded me of George Orwell’s book Animal Farm where there was a character called Squealer (a pig). Do you grasp the name? Yes Squealer. He squeals a lot. Or, as the author puts it, he is "a brilliant talker, and when he was arguing some difficult point he had a way of skipping from side to side and whisking his tail which was somehow very persuasive”.

All in all whatever happened in this case – South Africans should be proud of having such great legal eagles who remained steadfast throughout in their respective duties, steadfastly focused on managing the case to its logical conclusion and not distracted by the full eyes of the world fixed on them.

They provided yet another proof to the world that South Africa is well functioning. The existence of law as well as its application in the regulation of human conduct is what separates the human world from the animal kingdom. Law is the glue that holds society together.

For this feat, I wish to congratulate these three eminent South Africans for their prodigious contributions to South Africa and the world. The intellect and sagacity that these inimitable judex has brought out in strengthening Brand South Africa is without price or money. It is priceless.  Their professional conduct raised South Africa's standing with the international community to a new level.

To Oscar Pistorious I say: Fiat Justitia! Ruat caelum. This is the adage of ancient provenance; a heart-rending plea for justice to pour likes the floods of Prophet Noah in the Bible! And again time has proven over and over again, that Truth is the grand essential for justice. Without truth, justice is eviscerated of meaning and significance.

Last and but certainly not least; I must not forget the fact that there were twitter and Facebook  as well as a variety of commentators. These also reminded me of Animal Farm. In Animal Farm there was Mollie, a young beautiful female horse. Mollie craves the attention of human beings and loves being groomed and pampered. She has a difficult time with her new life in the Animal Farm revolution, as she misses human beings and eating sweet sugar cubes. At the beginning of the Revolution the first thing she wanted to know is, "Will there be sugar after the Revolution?"

Aggravating and demeaning most of these twittering, pinging, Facebook commentators were but there were of value, as they helped us to reflect. Maturing has left me with the humility that all people contribute something of value and must be listened to. So I am more patient with these views but I still remain keen on understanding the reason for such rush of blood to the head, lack of charity and such character of the simplistic that is so debilitating on Twitter and Facebook.

Finally, the game is up.

"The song is ended, but the melody lingers on…" (Irving Berlin)

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