THINKING ALOUD: Is it going to be a case of: ‘from Hero to Zero…’?

OscarYou were in an apartment with her… heard some strange noise. Quickly you grabbed your gun not minding where she was, pulled the trigger – firing six shots through the bathroom door…! That sounds incredibly strange…!

Hello beautiful people. Welcome to this week’s edition of Thinking Aloud with @OgadiRich. This edition can be dubbed ‘A Trip to South Africa’ as the case of the famous Paralympics-Olympics brand; Oscar Pistorius who has been accused of the murder of his girl friend, takes the front burner. This is not to bring back a past event but to beam the search light of ‘Thinking Aloud’ on a case that can be said to be on the verge of bringing to an unceremonious end the career of a historic legend. As we all know, the court hearing of the case proper will commence in June this year.

Oscar Pistorius aka ‘Blade Runner’ was born on November 22, 1986 in Johannesburg SA, without the fibular [the long slander bone running along the outside of the leg from below the knee joint and down to the ankle in each of his legs]. As a result, his legs were amputated below the knee at eleven months old. But the hero in him was not ‘amputated’ as he grew up to become a rare gem; arguably the most celebrated Paralympian of all time. He is also a unique Olympian – a tough nut to crack even among able-bodied men on the tracks.  His speed on the tracks with his prosthetic legs earned him the title: ‘Blade Runner’. It could be recalled that the International Association of Athletics Federations in 2007 placed a ban on him because of his amazing speed even as an amputee in the midst of able-bodied sprinters; claiming the carbon fiber blade legs give him advantage. He later won the case and the ban was lifted in 2008. His major achievements are:  Gold and Silver – Athens 2004, 3 Gold – Beijing 2008 and 2 Gold and 1 Silver – London 2012 among many others. His success as an athlete earned him a position in Time Top 100 Most Influential People in 2012. His story however took a negative and unfortunate twist as he now faces a case of premeditated murder of his own girl friend, Reeva Steenkamp – a 29 years old Law graduate and beautiful model.

As the story which seems like a scene in a Hollywood blockbuster would have it, on the 14th day of February this year, Oscar and Reeva were on the same bed in his bed room at his luxurious house near Pretoria. During the early hours of that day, he heard some strange noise… Thinking it was an intruder; he grabbed his gun and fired six shots towards the bathroom through the door where he thought the intruder was hiding. Ironically, the intruder turned out to be Reeva as bullets pierced her skull and shattered her right elbow and hip bones. She eventually died.

Looking at the story, it won’t be out of place if one insists that Oscar should have noticed that Reeva was not on the bed… Or maybe she should have said to him before entering the bathroom: ‘please my love I’m going to bathroom in case you suddenly wake and decide to shoot towards there’…. I’m just thinking aloud! Though he said the light was not on in the room as of that time which a witness refuted, the first police officer to arrive at his house claims he wouldn’t have been able to shoot at that particular direction accurately without his prosthetic legs. If that’s anything to go by, he might have used the light to get his legs on and supposed to have noticed she was not on the bed, Or maybe he over reacted as a ‘physically challenged’ who sensed danger…  I’m still thinking aloud! According to a witness, there were sounds of shouting coming from the house before the incident. However his Lawyer argued during his bail hearing that the witness apartment is too far for the witness to ascertain the voices. He was granted bail on 22nd February on the grounds that he does not pose a flight risk as against the argument of the prosecutor that he may elope – jump bail owing to the fact that he has off-shore accounts and a house in Italy. He must appear in court in June this year. New development in the case is that Reeva was pregnant. Were they involved in a hash argument over the pregnancy before the incident? What really transpired between them at that particular time as they had been best of friends…?

Is Oscar Pistorius going to come out clean in this case? Or is he going to spend the rest of his life behind bars and go from Hero to Zero? I look forward to your comments. Let’s ‘Think Aloud’.

Ogadi Richard Iroka

Twitter: @OgadiRich

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