The term “bloody valentine” seems just about fit to describe the theme for Oscar Pistorius’s Valentine’s Day celebrations this year. On the 14th of February 2013, Pistorius was charged with the murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. She had been fatally shot at his home earlier that day, amid rumours of a tiff between the couple. Despite being granted bail, Pistorius must now appear before a court later this year, where the alleged murder will be dissected and discussed at length before a judgment is passed.
But the question remains; who exactly Is Oscar Pistorius? Standing tall at over six feet, Pistorius is a South African sprinter and long distance runner. Despite having both his legs amputated below the knees when he was only eleven months old, Pistorius competes in events for able-bodied athletes and for amputees. Known as “The Fastest Man on No Legs,” Pistorius not only won the men’s 400m and 4x400m at this year’s Summer Paralympics, he also set new world records for both events. A legend of the sports in South Africa, Pistorius also supports a host of charities and welfare homes in his home town of Johannesburg.
So how did this “murder” play out? Prosecutors say that Pistorius had had an argument with Reeva, on Valentine’s eve. Although there is insufficient evidence to verify this, a witness, who was estimated to be over 300m away, stepped forward and testified to hearing “sounds of fighting” from Pistorius’ home. What can be confirmed, though, is that four shots were fired inside Pistorius’s bathroom, killing Reeva instantly. While Pistorius claims that he thought the person in the bathroom was an intruder, prosecutors have argued that the time taken for the entire incident indicated that the murder was premeditated.
As the court case rages on, opinion has been divided over Pistorius’s actions. Some say that he is guilty for taking matters into his own hands, and not calling for the authorities when he felt his house was being broken into. Others believe that his actions were perfectly legitimate, in defending himself and his property from a potential intruder. As for now, Pistorius is on bail, and is free to continue his training and daily activities. He cannot, however, return to his home (which is now a crime scene) or consume any form of alcohol or drugs.
Pistorius’s next appearance in court will be on the 4th of June, where a trial will begin in full swing. If convicted, he faces life in prison. Although the odds are in his favour, his reputation and public image have certainly taken a battering. Do stay with us here at Ignite, as we continue to bring you the latest updates on this case.
Over and out!