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Pragmatic, reserved and a deep thinker who loves family, sports especially football where am married to two wives: the first, AC Milan who has my loyalty and the second wife, Manchester United who has all my undying love and pampering, lifestyle and society parties. Need I say the law is more than a profession but a lifestyle for me.

Adekanye Adeyinka Olajide.

I do it for me

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With the Oscar Pistorius case gradually winding up after he has been discharged of premeditated murder and found guilty of culpable homicide, which is called manslaughter in other countries, I have carefully taken my time to evaluate the case and the subsequent judgement handed down by the judge over this crucial case. It has been a Herculean task to take an unbiased approach to the analysis of the case because I perceive #OP guilty of the brutal killing of his girlfriend abinitio. Regardless, I have listened punctiliously to evidences put forward both by the prosecution and by the defence in order to form a constructive opinion of the matter, which I will be sharing hereon.

With my legal background, the judgement shames everything the law stands for and what lawyers understand about the law generally. This case and its judgement lays down a bad precedent to follow and I wonder where the Judge Thokozile Masipa got it confused. Actually, I write with an enraged torrential anger after trying to put myself in the shoes of the deceased girlfriend and comprehend what her family are presently going through. I feel sorely disappointed with the outcome of this interminable trial stretching over a year. I have found it hard to fathom how this boy has just been let off the hook without paying duly for his crime. What then is the role of the law in defending people whose life has been taken from them unjustly? How do we motivate victims to come forward when justice is never assured?

Though it was not sufficiently proved in my opinion that he premeditated the murder of his girlfriend, it is not in question that he grossly, brutally, without any doubt committed gruesome murder. I also do not share the Judge’s opinion that his intent to kill his girlfriend was not established beyond reasonable doubt. Taking into account that Oscar is a trained professional in handling arms and that he actually expertly lodged four shots into the bathroom where his woman was, which raises his dolus eventualis – i.e. realising that the consequences of his action will result in a specific result. For instance, a man burns a bush, knowing there is a car in the bush and it could be burnt, but goes ahead by reconciling within himself to carry on with burning the bush regardless of other risks, he will be held liable for destroying the car though he only intended to burn the bush.

His defence that he honestly shot Reeva Steenkamp believing there was an intruder in his house is nothing short of deceptive, misleading, and unpardonable. This is where I have further doubts in the credibility of the Judge in this case, who despite describing Oscar as evasive, deceptive and a witness lacking credibility could still hinge on his claim of intending to shoot an intruder because he was afraid. He obviously knew there was only going to be an outcome to shooting an intruder four times – kill or grievously cause bodily harm.

It is bewildering that the Judge has refused to find him guilty of murder when all the elements needed have been proved. This is someone who showed intent by shooting not once but four times without averting his mind to the presence of his girlfriend in his house, which he was knowledgeable of before shooting sporadically. He could have acted with utmost care and consideration by first confirming who was in the house at least by calling the intruder to step out or threaten to shoot. Similarly, there was no account of him finding out if his girlfriend was still in the house to notify her there was an intruder.

I am also submerged at how the Judge has discredited witnesses’ evidence stating them to have mistaken as to what they thought to have seen or heard. I quite understand the precarious position in this matter for circumstantial evidences are usually not admissible due to their lack of reliability, consistency, and authenticity but I am not inclined to the Judge’s evaluation of them in this given case. Many of them had audio or visual evidences, which could have aided a better outcome for this case as their credibility was not challenged as individuals.

Apparently, we will never know the truth about the events that took place in Oscar’s house, as the only version of the story we are left with is that of the ostentatious Oscar after he killed the other party. However, we do know that the trial has not arrived with a just conclusion or reasonable decision.

As Oscar faces a possible jail term or an outright suspension altogether of the sentence, it reveals the loopholes Africa constantly battles with in its legal framework, the lacunas our jurisprudence leaves behind in criminal cases, and the remarked inequality among offenders in the eyes of the law. For one cannot help but wonder if truly the sword of the law has been efficiently wielded in this case, if the outcome would have been different had Oscar been a black South African living the slums of Soweto?