South Africa’s Fallen Blade Runner

Posted February 20th, 2013 at 3:14 pm (UTC-4)

Oscar Pistorius stands in the dock during a break in court proceedings Wednesday in Pretoria. He was applying for bail after being charged with shooting dead his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. Photo: Reuters

Where there was once joy and smiles on the track, there are now bowed heads and tears in a Pretoria courtroom. The last time I blogged about Oscar Pistorius, South Africa’s “Blade Runner,” was on July 4, 2012, the Independence Day holiday in the United States.

Pistorius described that day as one of the proudest of his life, the day he was officially selected for South Africa’s Olympic team for the London Games. I followed Pistorius to London and I was at the Olympic Stadium when he made history by becoming the first double leg amputee to compete against able-bodied Olympians. He didn’t win any medals at the Olympics, but it didn’t really matter, because his presence at the Games provided plenty of inspiration.

Oscar Pistorius poses for photographers near the Tower Bridge in London in September, 2012. Photo: Reuters

After the Olympics, the 26-year-old Pistorius stayed in London and won three medals, two gold and a silver, at the Paralympics for disabled athletes. His story of overcoming adversity made him a national hero in South Africa, a country that loves its sporting heroes.

When that hero is charged with murder, though, feelings and allegiances can change. Pistorius was arrested on Valentine’s Day, February 14, and charged with the murder of his girlfriend, 29-year-old Reeva Steenkamp.

“It is very difficult to accept it because he was a role model,” said Jacqueline Pretorius, a South African who spoke with Reuters news agency outside the courtroom Wednesday. “I think about all the children who looked up to him and saw him as a role model, so it’s very difficult for me to accept this, but I hope that justice will be served in court and the wrong party will go and do his time.”

Oscar Pistorius and his late girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp pose for a picture in Johannesburg on February 7, 2013. Photo: Reuters

The killing of Steenkamp has also raised the issue of gender-based violence in South Africa. A group from the ruling political party, the African National Congress’s Women’s League, has protested outside the Pretoria courtroom, saying violence against women needs to stop in South Africa.

“It was a planned game that he did,” said Amukelani Baloyi, another South African closely watching the Pistorius case. She told Reuters, “I doubt if I want him to be out of the prison. Because usually in South Africa, we must promote a motto to embrace our women and to respect our women as far as women and children’s rights are concerned.”

As far as Oscar Pistorius is concerned, the sensational nature of his murder case guarantees that we’ll hear his name on an everyday basis as his trial unfolds. We need to hear the name of Reeva Steenkamp, too.

Sonny Young
Since 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

7 responses to “South Africa’s Fallen Blade Runner”

  1. Bob garrett says:

    Oscar Pistorius is guilty as sin! When a person (any person) hears a noise in the house at night he thinks intruder only after he knows its not a member of the household and he sure as hell doesn’t go blasting away at a closed door in a bathroom without being very sure it isn’t a member of the household. As a minimum anyone would have called out to see who was in the bathroom. This bathroom had no other door and he is in front of the only door with a loaded firearm in his hand. The last thing any responsible or half rational person would do is to discharge a firearm without knowing for sure at whom he is firing. He’s lying through his teeth. He knew exactly who was in that bathroom.

  2. LAURA says:

    Murderer! He should spend the rest of his life behind the bars!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. LAURA says:

    1000000000000000% LIER………..

  4. Emeka Nwokorie says:

    ‘PISTOL’ which is a gun begins his name ‘PISTORIUS’.
    He intentionally murdered his girlfriend thinking that nothing would happen.
    It will be a great injustice to Reeva Steenkamp who is in the grave to grant him bail. Bail for what?
    To go and enjoy with other women?
    Why will anybody think of granting a murderer bail?
    Let him stay in prison to face the crime he committed!
    Did he not hear her scream after firing the first shot? And he went ahead and fired the second, the third and the fourth shots.
    Simply put, Oscar Pistorious is a murderer and a liar!

  5. jude rousseaux says:

    Quite likely.However; it is innocent until proven guilty.If I want my rights to stay intact…
    then I MUST PROTECT ANOTHERS RIGHT even if I disagree.
    If their rifhts can be taken away…then tag…I’m next. This universe has many games and deprivation of rifhts is one of them.What you wish for another is what you wish for yourself as well.

  6. High Pockets says:

    It is blatantly obvious that Pistorius patiently waited for the opportune moment and ambushed her when she went to the toilet so that she was in a trap and had nowhere to run. She was occupied and unaware of the evil act that was to follow. He cornered her. It was obviously well planned and she wouldn’t have seen it coming. He then carried her down the stairs NOT to save her life, but to save his. Very cunning and conniving.

  7. Stephen says:

    Yes, he is guilty of murder. Besides the criminal trial, he should face wrongful death in a civil lawsuit and he he should part with a huge chunk of wealth to compensate the victim’s family for this irreplaceable loss.

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Sonny Side of Sports is an energetic and action-packed look at both world and African sports, broadcast on radio, TV and the Internet. Since the show’s creation in 1999, host Sonny Young has delighted listeners and viewers with a lively presentation that combines humor, props, sound effects and correspondent reports from Africa and all over the globe.

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