We all perhaps tended to ignore it at the time, when an inappropriately smirking Pistorius announced at his latest bail hearing last December that he ‘needed’ daily internet access, so that he could pursue his studies on a business with law degree at a London University (unspecified of course, eh?) that he had suddenly and completely unauthorised enrolled-on. He said in his papers that he was to study by way of correspondence.
It begs a number of questions about South African justice though doesn’t it? How comes a convicted murderer, who is supposed to be banged-up anyway, is allowed to enrol on an overseas degree course? How comes then that that in itself is an acceptable justification for allowing him as a person serving an actually lengthy jail sentence (albeit currently and temporarily via house arrest) to have unfettered computer and internet access? Under all other custodial systems around, that would be a big no-no, wouldn’t it? Not in South Africa apparently – well not if you are an influential ex- rich ex-superstar, eh?
Moreover, the so called judge (Aubrey Ledwaba) at the hearing seemed to fail to appreciate that Pistorius was only on ‘just house arrest’ because he was serving a ‘previously’ imposed sentence, but the man had just been convicted of murder so needed to be locked-up again. Even more worrying is that fact that Pistorius got bail with the apparent connivance of the Prosecution and lead council Gerrie Nel (though he opposed him being allowed out to roam and even failed on that) – but that seems the way it goes with the unfathomable South African justice system, isn’t it?
But what was this all about from Pistorius anyway? Well, as said, it has allowed him to justify getting as much media access as he wants – and ensures his ongoing positive discrimination, doesn’t it? Furthermore, Pistorius wants to maintain an international profile, so he is not going to use the SA University of Pretoria (where he had previously some ten years ago supposed to be studying for a business management degree– but never seems to have made it to the end, did he?).
There is a claim often of “What you SEE is what you GET” but when you are dealing with Pistorius perhaps it is turned around a bit to “What you GET is NOT what you SEE”. You should know that his study claim is a little bit suspect apparently, like much else about him (?), as there is no such thing it is said as a ‘business and law’ BSc taught at the University of London, but there is a ‘management and law’ accredited degree offered as an international programme for which academic direction is provided by the LSE academic institution. Perhaps, an unintended small ‘mistake’ of little apparent consequence, but possibly indicative of the rest of Pistorius’ inaccurate accounts? If it was a genuine situation, you would expect that someone embarking on many years of study would be quite clear about what course they were taking –but if it is simply a ploy to get internet access for his time in jail then he wouldn’t have checked it out properly, would he?
[The South African legal establishment seems determined to save Oscar Pistorius at every turn – so don’t simply expect him to end-up languishing for years in jail, will you?]