The judgements of Judge Masipa in her handling of Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial have been widely criticised by some South African legal eagles– most of us outside observers were confounded and amazed at her decisions.
There also has been incomprehension around the World on how a white rich South African self-confessed killer can have been treated so leniently before and during his actual trial.
Judge Masipa after an unacceptable further month’s delay in an extraordinarily extended trial finally capitulated in granting leave to appeal (strenuously opposed by Pistorius himself of course) – but ONLY on her unbelievable acquittal of murder decision; she has refused on the others like the five year ‘inadequate’ sentence for his culpable homicide conviction (the maximum was fifteen years). What most people don’t know is that she deliberately and cleverly set what seemed to outsiders to be a significant jail sentence, while knowing that he would actually only do ten months behind bars, and then he could go home to continue his grand lifestyle. (Five years and a day sentence and he had to do the time!).
His treatment by the Courts seems to have been solely guarded around his disability, and that can’t be right in a legitimate justice system, can it? You can be certain of one thing though don’t you think, and that is he is now banged up in a cushy prison hospital unit with unusually special privileges?
We might expect the Supreme Court to be asked by the State to overrule the Judge’s latest perverse decisions as well, so that all the appeals can be heard – but that will depend completely on legal arguments and not our outsider laymen’s opinions of course.
So the matter is now really heading for the Appeal Court, but that can take a year or more to be dealt with, so the likelihood is that Oscar Pistorius will actually be out of jail enjoying remarkable freedom before a murder conviction becomes possible – that would mean a minimum fifteen year sentence.
[Oh yes, Pistorius can still get away with it, but his disgrace cannot ever be airbrushed away, as is still anticipated by his family’s comments, and he can never excuse his personal behaviour, particularly his gun obsession, nor the unwarranted killing of Reeva Steenkamp’s]