Thursday South Africa
Media sources are full of the news that paralympian Oscar Pistorius, often called Blade Runner, has been charged with murder. The victim is Oscar's girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, 30. Initial reports were that Oscar may have mistaken beautiful Reeva for an intruder. It was alleged that she had entered his home in Silver Lakes Golf Estate in Boschkop, Pretoria, whilst he was sleeping. Vague reports that she had planned a Valentine Day's surprise which went horribly wrong appear to have been dismissed.
Police have now charged the wealthy sports personality with murder. Pistorius will appear in a court in South Africa Friday.
Sad news. Reeva was a beautiful young woman with her whole life before her. Oscar is a man who has fought hard to overcome tremendous physical challenges. Speculation is now high as to what actually happened.
Many will remember Oscar's anger at one point during the London 2012 Olympics. We all get angry sometimes though. It is now for the court to decide, and an investigation to determine, what really happened.
Neighbour's claim to have been disturbed by raised voices coming from the luxury property. It also appears to be common knowledge that the couple has argued intensely previously.
Reeva was shot four times sustaining injuries to her head and upper body. She died at the scene. On her twitter account, prior the shooting, she had revealed that she was planning a Valentine's surprise.
The availability of a weapon has to be noted. No gun would have meant no shooting.
*Warning graphic images of violence*
SkyNews has today, June 13, 2012, broadcast a worrying report from South Africa. The report included graphic scenes of violence meted out by vigilantes. However looking for a video to post with our report we found that the problem is far from new.
The video attached to this report dates back to 1999. At the time people in the townships had little if any faith in the police force. Instead they were turning to organised vigilantes to provide justice.
There was no trial nor sentencing. No guilty nor not guilty. Once identified as the perpetrator the culprit was stripped and beaten. The first lash of the whip was often administered by the victim.
Many of those pointed out as criminals were subsequently beaten to death. Some were burnt to death. As so often happens with rough justice, the wrong person was sometimes identified. The brutal death sentence, which was carried out, at times was for crimes such as theft.
So the latest report appears to show that little has changed. The people's faith in police officers is still weak. They prefer to allow vigilantes to mete out justice, but what justice? It is far from that. Without a means of being 100% sure who is the victim and who the criminal, a vigilante system will be always wrong. It will always be flawed. It is open to abuse and so much more.
The fact that the people often opt for the vigilante route says a lot for their faith in South African justice. Law enforcemnet officers know what is happening and yet fail to act. That must surely mean that they are complicit in the murder of many?.