It’s been a year since Oscar Pistorius was charged with the shooting of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. With the trial pending early next month, the justice and truth behind will unfolded. Closure will provide clarity for loved ones, and the possibility of Pistorius to rise again, whilst for the government it may prove an eye opener for change.
South African Pistorius, a double-leg amputee since the age of 11, by trade is an Olympian, known as the “fastest man without legs.” A Paralympic gold medallist, as well as the first amputee to win an able-bodied world track medal, Pistorius was looked upon as a role-model, particularly to people with disabilities.
Reeva was most familiar to the celebrity world in South Africa, and as a model made many TV appearances, before she began to date ‘blade runner’ Pistorius in November 2012. Her rise as a well-known personality skyrocketed, and in South Africa the media spotlight was forever overhead.
The light would have shone glaringly before with her previous boyfriend, Spring Bok rugby player Francois Hougaard, yet ever more so as she began her relationship with a man established in his country due to his intent on using a disability that would be strenuous and life halting to some to his advantage. This focus of the media is certain to be beneficial to the trial, with 107 witnesses set to add clearness to events.
The two had an apparently healthy relationship from an outsider’s viewpoint, until it was announced that Reeva passed on February 14th, Valentine’s Day, 2013 after an incident at Oscar Pistorius home.
For Pistorius, an athlete with optimum skill to run without legs is something that goes with much willpower. His career started with a dream, money being secondary, which brought out the raw trait of sheer determination. Such determination is necessary in this legal situation.
Since that night, he has maintained his innocence. Should the verdict of the trial prove Oscar’s viewpoint, it will be a stepping-stone to rebuilding again. Although he has returned to training for “health” purposes since, an official return to sprinting, and sport, would allow him to make his previous dreams reality, and use this ordeal and perhaps the honour of Reeva, to reach his previous sporting heights.
A man that credits his mother, who passed when Oscar was 15 years old, as major influence in his life, he has the ability to channel his thoughts. A sportsman’s success takes a lot from what he or she is telling himself or herself mentally. Belief and placing energy in the right places, for the right causes, is something Pistorius will know all about.
In the build-up to the trial, the most important sentiment for the families is that of closure. There is a desire to understand what happened that night in the home of Oscar Pistorius so family members can begin new chapters in life. All involved seek the knowledge that there was justice for Reeva, and the truth for Pistorius.
For South Africa as a whole it comes as standout moment in which perhaps can be an example of what needs to be altered. The publicity surrounding this particular case adds weight to the viewpoint that being allowed to own a gun premeditates a situation such as this. In South Africa, gun laws state that the owning of a gun is conditional under a competency test, as well as other factors including inspection of premises and background checks.
However, despite this, the case can act as headway in seeking to change laws, and although burglary rates in South Africa are known to be higher, an appraisal of other ways in which protection from breaking and entering within the country can begin to be contemplated.
It’s been a long wait for the families involved. Yet with the trial set for just over a week’s time, from March 3rd until March 20th at Pretoria Magistrates High Court, finally perspicuity will be reached.
In it all a tribute did come to Reeva after her funeral, when her ashes were scattered in Nelson Mandela Bay, with her family stating, “Her grandfather’s ashes were spread out into the sea. We all think the sea would be a wonderful place to spread your ashes because your body would go all over the place.”
Mandela, of course an icon in South African history is one of the most profoundly determined people in years gone by. His will and motivation is something the Steenkamp family will now share; to make sure that once closure is attained, that a foundation is created in her remembrance of her passions and loves she had in life. For Pistorius there is a similar kind of stimulus, to seek success again.
And now with the trial in the field of view, the end of a chapter, and closure that is so sought after by the families and loved ones is a light shining ever brighter at the end of a long tunnel. Then the opening of a new chapter can open, with the country’s realization of gun laws reverting, so that such an instance can be avoided from occurring again. Later, perhaps public awareness of the events can be pursued, with charities set up or books written to help those in similar situations.
What differing ways of protection could be looked at as opposed to possession of a gun?