Thursday, November 13, 2014

South Africa: "My Take: Pistouris Got Away with Murder Because He Was a Celebrity"

According to AFP, Reeva Steenkamp's mother does not believe Oscar Pistorius accidentally killed her daughter and feels "let down" by South Africa's justice system, according to a memoir published Monday (November 10).
"Oscar's story I don't believe," she wrote in the book, released weeks after the athlete was found not guilty of murder and sentenced to five years in prison on a lesser manslaughter charge.
In "Reeva, A Mother's Story" June Steenkamp said she believes Pistorius shot her 29-year-old daughter dead after a fight and that the couple's relationship was on a violent path. 
Pistorius claimed that he mistook Steenkamp for an intruder, firing four shots through a locked bathroom door
"Not one of his actions suggests he felt protective towards her," wrote June Steenkamp, the grieving mother setting out what she believes happened in the early hours of Valentine's Day 2013.
"They had a fight, a horrible argument, and she fled to the bathroom with her mobile and locked the door."
"I think he may have shot once and then he had to go on and kill her because she would have been able to tell the world what really happened, what he is really like."
"There is no doubt in our minds: she had decided to leave Oscar that night," she wrote, adding that Reeva Steenkamp had indicated that the pair had not had sex. Their relationship was coming to an end. In her heart of hearts she didn't think it was making either of them happy."
"It was Reeva's bad luck that she met him, because sooner or later he would have killed someone. I do believe that."
COMMENT: One thing I do know is that mothers in particular know their children and intimately comprehend the fears they share. My own mother, who raised me solo from the age of 9, knew me as no other person could. If June Steenkamp sensed that Reeva was afraid of Pistouris, she obviously knew behavior better than do most men. 

In Reeva Steenkamp's very short life, she was shot and killed multiple times by Oscar Pistouris, during an apparent heated argument.

The very fact that Pistouris had a number of "excessive force" incidents underlines that he never should have been authorized to carry a firearm.

Having personally observed Pistouris during months of testimony, it is my firm belief that the man who shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp never should have been authorized to carry a lethal firearm. Period. Yet, his celebrity status and political clout enabled him to carry a concealed firearm, despite numerous incidents in over-reacting to threats that were not threats at all. I am of the opinion that Oscar Pistouris was incapable of safely handling firearms, much less having the presence-of-mind to safely and competently discharge a firearm against an armed adversary.  

In the United States, "concealed-carry" and/or "open-carry" laws may be legal options in some or all 50 US states which essentially means that those WITH a spotless criminal record can undergo prescribed training in the US and ultimately appear before a county board and be authorized to carry a concealed and/or open-carry permit to protect themselves from criminals.
June Steenkamp also described the desperate pain of not being there to help her daughter in her time of need, of medication to numb the anguish and of her husband, Barry's, stroke.
"In our worst imaginings, we picture how scared she must have been to retreat behind that door, and lock it, with no one to protect her. "One bullet blew the brains out of her skull."
Steenkamp added that while she forgives Pistorius, she would like to meet him to ask questions.
"I have forgiven him. I have to--that's my religion. But I can't forget what he has done. I hate what he has done to my child."
In the book, Steenkamp describes at length the pain of seven months of tortured court hearings, culminating in a verdict which the state has described as "shockingly light" and will soon appeal. "I felt let down by the justice system," said June Steenkamp.
She described Pistorius's account of events as "vague, evasive and shifty."
"I was so shocked that he was actually standing there saying not guilty to every single charge. How could he say that when Reeva is dead and he shot [and killed] her?" "He has to live for the rest of his life with the knowledge of what he's done."

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