Spend a day with Advocate Barry Roux

2014-09-11 05:32

Spend the day with Adv Barry Roux : Zareef Minty

The whole world waits in anticipation for Oscar Pistorius to learn his fate.  Oscar Pistorius, who is accused of shooting and killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2012, will hear Judge Thokozile Masipa hand down her verdict on his murder trial over the next two days.

The fact that this case had such a wide ambit of media coverage throughout the world because of Oscar’s celebrity status; it also added a lot of pressure on our criminal justice system to prove that it is one of the best in the world.  The media influence is predominate throughout the trial and we see how Oscar was hounded by the public and media.  Judge Masipa setting aside two days just to relay her verdict shows how she has scrutinised every witness’s statement to give a fair and just judgement as the whole world is watching.

The potential verdicts are as follows:

Not guilty on all charges

Should the athlete be found not guilty, he would leave court a free man. Pistorius would then have his 1m rand bail returned to him and would reserve the right to institute a civil case against the Minister of Police and Justice for damages he felt he might have incurred during his prosecution.

Guilty on all charges

Murder in South Africa carries a minimum sentence of life imprisonment, which constitutes 25 years. Coupled with anything from two to five years in prison or a fine for the firearm and ammunition charges could see the athlete spend three decades in prison. South African law does afford him a parole hearing after 25 years and, if released, will still be on parole for the rest of his life.

Guilty on firearm and ammunition charges, not guilty of murder but guilty of culpable homicide

In this scenario, Pistorius could face a fine or up to five years in prison for the firearm charges but Judge Masipa could find that the prosecution had not proved murder (unlawful, intentional killing of another human being) beyond reasonable doubt. She could then still find Pistorius guilty of culpable homicide (unlawful, negligent killing of another human being) which is a lesser charge than murder and focuses on negligence rather than intent. There is no prescribed sentence for culpable homicide in South African law and the sentence can be decided at the discretion of the Judge based on the weight of evidence and circumstances surrounding the incident.

Not guilty on firearm and ammunition charges but guilty on murder charge

In this case, Pistorius will face a life sentence (25 years) or more depending on whether Judge Masipa feels that there are aggravating circumstances.

With the verdict looming over Oscars head we see how the trial brought out how human and fragile Oscar really is and made us realise he also has emotions. I guess that’s the worst part about airing a trial for the globe to see because we sometimes forget the human factor involved with the accused. Oscar and I are both members at the same gym, it is horrible to see someone go through the anxiety and stress of waiting on the verdict whether they are guilty or not, at first I didn’t even recognize Oscar, he grew a beard, wore a black jacket with the hoodie over his head and he had his earphones in his ears while making use of the cycling machine, it was as if he wanted a to find a place where he could get away from all the stress.

Regardless of what the verdict will be, we cannot take away from Oscar the amazing and admirable accolades and medals he won in his wonderful career to date. Oscar achievements include winning gold at theNedbank Championships for the Physically Disabled, 2005 Visa Paralympic World Cup, IPC World Championships, Dutch Open National Championships and the 2012 Summer Paralympics respectively.

Oscar Pistorius defense team is one of the best in the country with Advocate Barry Roux leading the line; the Black Lawyers Association University of the Witwatersrand branch was privileged and honored to host Mr Roux a few weeks back. Being chairperson of this wonderful team of thinkers and doers really made me proud. They pulled off an amazing event, with students waiting for over 2 hours before the actual event just to get a seat. It was really crazy to see a venue so packed that we had to get campus control to limit the number of people coming in. Wits has never seen such demand for a single speaker before, I guess this just really shows the importance of a man like Mr Roux.

Being that prominent usually includes a slice of arrogance but not here. Not with Mr Roux, he is a true gentleman. Students were not only impressed with his legal mind and the lecture that was given but also his sense of humor and style of handling everything and anything with a smile. If you ever read this Mr Roux, we as the Black Lawyers Association Wits Branch hold you very highly as someone who has inspired us to become great. Like you mentioned at the lecture you have to feel that burn, that burn for law.

Attention all law students, there is an amazing opportunity for you to spend a day with Barry Roux, where you will be mentored by him for the day. All that you have to do isgo onto twitter and mention @ZareefSMB explaining why you should be one of the three students that will have this privilege.

Please do follow me on social media:

Facebook : Zareef Minty

Facebook Page : Zareef Minty

Twitter : @ZareefSMB

Instagram: @iamzareefminty

Website: www.zareefminty.com

(Potential verdicts were sourced from http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/10/oscar-pistorius-murder-trial-potential-verdicts)


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