That must be what is going through Oscar Pistorius’s mind today.
He is either thinking – I DID it… ( kill her unintentionally but knowingly…. ), and I DID manage to pursuade the judge that I did not … (my story worked).
I DID it….(proof my innocence) because it was a pure, tragic accident…and I managed to get that message across without contradiction (the judicial system works).
Only Oscar knows. In the judge’s own words.
Because let’s face it – the rest of us still DON’T know….after this lengthy, costly trial.
Tons of people are not convinced.
And that is probably the saddest part of this whole verdict.
Legal issues aside – let us just assume that in LEGAL terms, the RIGHT verdict has been handed. I am talking here about PUBLIC VERDICT in trying to come to conclusion and closure myself to this matter that lied so close to South African’s hearts.
Those who believed he was guilty before this trial, still believes that…and blame the system for failing to point that out and those who believed he was innocent, feels justice has been served.
But nobody feels any kind of RESOLVE. Nobody feels as if the truth came out.
Even if it DID.
It still just remains Oscar’s version. And his fans believe in him and therefore his version. And those who don’t support him, don’t believe him and therefore reject his version.
Those who believe he should have been guilty, is angry at the judicial system.
Those who believe he is innocent, is angry that the verdict is not convincing the other side.
Why is that? Why are there so many thousands of people who believe that and feel that this has not brought any closure?
Let’s put your personal judgement aside for a moment… what you THINK has happened. Because, let’s face it… it does not seem as if the trial changed any of that for anybody out there…sadly.
And we take it that Oscar’s version is the real version. That means …. This is simply a case of ….
REEVA – being at the WRONG place , at the WRONG time.
And for Oscar – the tragic reality of having a GUN in an UNGUARDED moment.
This is one of the 2 points that I want to make from this post today. Having a gun in a moment where you can’t think straight, would have made all the difference in this situation. Doesn’t matter if he thought it was an intruder or whether he knew it was Reeva.
If he thought it was an intruder, and he did not have a gun at hand. He would have had to find alternatives – activate the panic button on the alarm, call the security, call 911, hide, go back to bed to discuss with Reeva what to do….
All this would have meant that by the time he took 5 minutes to look at alternatives, he would have saved her life as she would have walked out of the toilet – and besides the crowd whom he would have alerted by now, they all would have been happy, alive and well.
But no – he did not have time to think before he act, and the fact that he acted – a life changing (ending?) event – for him and her was the result.
But what if they DID have an argument and he also did not have a gun. See – this is where my personal opinion comes in on why people are so upset and wanted this version to be considered more than anything that happened.
I THINK….that this is a possibility of what may have happened that night – not pointed out by the State or the Judge:
I think they had a loving relationship.
I think he had some anger management issues.
But – you get good guys, great guys, who are in wonderful relationships – except for this one tiny bit of them that snaps when something triggers that little switch inside of them.
Reeva saw a tiny glimpse of this when he seemingly went off about something stupid in an earlier event. Her only voice for this is the whatsapp messages in which she hinted on this.
See – I don’t think that he ever before seriously lashed out at her.
I am convinced that he did not physically abuse her.
She is a smart girl and she would have left. She advocated for that.
But to his credit, I also think he is a good guy with not that dark of a side to him.
So – yes, the judge was absolutely correct in stating that they had a normal relationship. The State tried to proof otherwise.
I just think that a situation arose where he “snapped”.
On the spot, in the moment….even if they had the whole evening peacefully chit-chatting, laughing and loving moments. Something started it out of nowhere.
It got louder – something seemingly simple, got out of control as the argument went on.
She realized that she should remove herself from the situation to let him cool down.
She knew something might happen – the debate getting too heated to remain in it, but also deep down believed nothing would really, really happen – after all, Oscar is a good guy and famous on top of it all ……so, she did not alert anyone.
She was considerate. She wanted to handle it, protect his good name and let the situation resolve privately between the two of them.
A sort of typical ROAD RAGE incident. He was simply outraged at that stage.
She ran to the bathroom and locked herself in. Telling him to calm down while their fighting and yelling continued.
He got frustrated beyond his wits – and got his gun in an attempt to threaten her. NOT to kill her.
He loved her, he is intelligent and he knows better – even in this state.
The prosecutor failed to point this out. They said they had a tainted relationship. This is not the case. It is staggering how many “normal” relationships have this secret of verbal abuse when things heat up. Otherwise, seemingly and genuinely loving relationships.
He told her to get the F@*$ out …. Just as he described on the witness stand and she refused….wanting and waiting for him to calm down.
For him to be in this situation of all his power taken away, he armed himself to empower him and get the upper hand on her. He probably told her he is going to shoot down the lock to force her to come out. Not to shoot HER…just to use his gun to get what he wants…access to her that she was denying him. And to regain power over her in that situation.
Again – she is smart. She knew to stay put.
He shot at the door. Thinking/ Hoping she is standing/ sitting on the toilet and that his shot would open the door for him and force her out. Simply because he felt that his manhood was stripped from him by her “disobedience”. Yes – he did not mean to kill her. That part is also true – as the judge pointed out AND Oscar – on so many occasions.
She, however, curious to know what is going on while having this fight with him and trying to talk sense into him, stood RIGHT in front of the door at the time of shooting.
The MOMENT he realized what he had done… he snapped back into the reality of the situation. After all – everybody agreed – including the judge – that he was in a mental capacity at the time to take decisions.
He then acted again like the loving, caring Oscar who just threw his toddler tantrum, threw his toys out of the cot….. but since he is not a toddler, he immediately realized the mess and the mistake he made.
He scrambled around, he yelled frantically, he phoned immediately, he wanted her back – no argument, no pointless anger outburst would ever want him to see her dead or hurt. It was just a game, it was just a power struggle, it was just a moment in which he “lost” it. He has had this with previous girlfriends and it never turned out this way. He regained it…very soon , very quickly – so, yes judge – he did try to save her, he did try to resuscitate her, he did pray to God to save her – in fact…. I think even people who DON’t believe in God pray to God to help them when crisis hits !
Does this mean all of what I have described here did NOT happen. No, not at all.
It could still have very much happened. It just means that the MIDDLE part of this story does not make any sense when you hear the BEGINNING and the END parts of it.
And yet – It is all still part of a very common occurrence.
The ONE and ONLY difference to this situation vs other similar ones – is that most people usually don’t have a GUN to their side, in that moment of madness.
This is probably what has saved millions of lives.
To have a GUN in an UNGUARDED moment – means that you can do something that you never planned, or intended or would ever repeat if you had even just a minute to think about it.
If Oscar did not have a gun that day, he would have had to use other means to put his personal stamp down. And perhaps Reeva would have left him, but at least she would have had the choice.
I think he made a huge mistake, he regrets it with every bit inside of him. He is not a murderer and he did not want to kill her.
But, let’s face it – whether it was an intruder or Reeva – both would have been alive if there was no gun near in this moment of Human Judgement Error.
And I think THAT is why so many feel that justice has not been served. So many just simply wanted the truth to come out.
So many who feel that the above may have been what happened – feel that that option was not even considered – not by the State and not by the Judge.
So, women in verbal abuse situation feel cheated. They know this was a real option – this version of events that the State unpacked. But they also know that those guys never plan it and they are deeply sorry afterwards. Nobody ever gets in their car and go look for somebody to have a fit of Road Rage. No – they go on an ordinary shopping trip and somebody take their parking and their whole situation explode with consequences they never foresee or feel good about.
I still feel that there is the flip side that Oscar is telling the truth and the absolute truth. And for that – I think the judge is correct. It was not proven beyond reasonable doubt that his version is not true. And therefore you can not let your feeling and emotion dictate otherwise.
I feel that there was a JUDICIAL verdict – correctly and there is a PERSONAL verdict – that each person has made up irrespective of what the judge said. And we should not get those two mixed up.
He must have the benefit of the doubt, if there is even the slightest bit of doubt. And who here can say that they can absolutely rule that out. Nobody.
But to say that women’s advocates are outraged and highly frustrated that the story did not come out, IF it was the story, is very understandable. Because all they want to do is to END this, before somebody else pays the price.
The sad reality of verbal abuse and these incidents of rage, is that only the two people involved usually know what exactly happened and how…. and in this case it has come down to not only those two – but only one. And that is Oscar Pistorius.
With everything in me, I hope that the real story came out. This would give him peace and public opinion would die down.
If it was not, I wish that he would get himself to the point where he would stand up to all those men who has this trigger and tell them – that it is serious, it is deadly and it is not worth it. Get help. Get Advice.
As a South African I have been asked numerous times now what my opinion is on the Oscar Pistorius is. And too many dinner conversations had led me to believe that many, many people feel that the above situation is what happened.
….yes, just another Ordinary Person’s OPinion on Oscar Pistorius’ situation that night….. a possibility !
So – I know that I will be asked in the next coming weeks, what my opinion is on the Oscar Pistorius verdict.
To all those – I will direct you to this blog post. I can not repeat my mind that many times. I say it here and this is my view of it. Purely my view.
If you agree this is what happened or COULD have happened, share this story and maybe those who wanted this side of the story to be considered i.e woman in verbal abusive relationships and persons against guns in households, would feel like they are a little bit closer to closure after reading this.
A final thought.
Such a beautiful tribute. By Robin Williams himself. RIP.
It is however not always that easy to make your life spectacular while you struggle with such strong forces against you, constantly powered by stress and anxiety while you try to pull in a different direction – constantly striving to succeed and not succumb into despair.
Depression is a serious illness and needs proper care and attention and often we are in denial.
Take the time to care for yourself when you experience any of the symptoms and reach out for help at the earliest signs of it.
I did. And I am glad I did.
It is not simply an issue of mind over matter.
Reach out today.
The kettle boiling. Three cups on the counter. Three chocolate cookies from the cupboard. A little treat for me and my girls.
And as I waited in anticipation for the boil, cups and cookies neatly in a row.. my mind wandered about what lies ahead this semester and how we will do it this time round.
Tomorrow school starts again. Back home after a long summer break. Blog break so long that I had to enter twice when asked the so familiar “password box”…. only when it comes back shaking with “incorrect user or password”, I am woken up…shaken up…. at all the “new beginnings” I have made over the years.
Always new ideas and new undertakings at the beginning of a new school year.
And then pretending the calendar year also signifies a new “year” – gives me double opportunity to make all these deals with myself on how things will be different this time.
I can only sigh …
as I finally sign in…. accepted by my “Blog” after such a long break… always happy to welcome me back no matter how long the neglect…. I finally sign up for what lies ahead in real life too.
Whatever that is – be it different, be it the same. No choice but to give it a go and hope for the best.
Things are already different. I will post this – without having the perfect picture to go with it. Without having to know if anybody read it or not. But just by following my heart and pour it out when and where I want to….. as I pour in the tea and ponder while I stir it around hoping for a smile on the faces on the receiving end.
But by siging in, signing up… I am still in this game and I am still keen to push forward, carry on and make it happen.
Not only for me, but also my beautiful girls who are eagerly awaiting their tea and treats.
Remember to put “two cups of sugar” in mine, I hear the little one’s voice coming from 2 rooms down….
I smile for she should know by now (age 7) the difference between a cup and a spoon of sugar…. after all… she is the one who said at dinner….when I did utter some of my “plans” for the new year….”I’m sorry I don’t want to hurt your feelings – but is this not what you said one year ago?”
Yes – I did. Thank you for reminding me Sweetie.
A new start. A new time of trial and error.
As long as we keep on trying !
Our kids are watching. The world is watching.
Be true to yourself. And that is the only advice I comfort myself with as I sipped my tea…. and tasted the treat melt away in my mouth.
I missed you blog !! I am back.
One year ago, to this day
Those men took your life away
Your family still trying to heal
from such a tragic steal.
For your loved ones it will never be the same
Sad that in South Africa a man is fair game.
Remember you still, as we always will.
A friend in need. A friend indeed.
Few days ago the world lost another soul
Cancer took on her its toll
She was the best roommate ever
Two years we spent in the same room together
Never ever anything but a hug or a smile
and then we lost contact for a while
But finding her again
gave us chance to catch up from way back when
Only to last not long
Despite her being so strong
Till the very end, you remained a friend
Your chats, support and always a positive thought
Is what you brought
even in a time when I expected you to be distraught
I still planned a reunion for us all
I know we would have had a ball
But time ran out…
and we will have to go without
Your light will shine on
Even now that you’re gone
You both made my world a better place
Put a smile on my face
Now that you are gone
Your memories live on
You are gone but not forgotten.
RIP Anton – 7 April 2013
RIP Marinda Snyman – 2 April 2014
Today is Monday. It’s “Wash-day”….”stay-at-home-day”…..”everybody-doing-their-thing-after-the-weekend-day”….
So many things to do around the house if you have been (or in this case…if 3 members of the household have been gone on their own separate ways for 10 days on overseas trips and all came back 3 days in a row)…. and the whole weekend had gone into re-connecting, catching up and nothing to do with cleaning-up !!
But the washing machine broke last Wednesday…and somehow that did not seem very important in the big scheme of things… untill today… when I realized you can’t quite make your way through the laundry piles….and somehow the choice of clothing is getting more and more restricted in the closets ! One of those “uurggghhh…..have-to-address” issues !!!
Which means my attention have been diverted a bit this morning when this ordinary Monday turned into a “oh dear gotta face this …and more importantly fix this ” -day…
Because lately this has been me….
And I am sure this is ALL my kids and those around me have observed of me lately…
Life happening in the background under a dark veil…while Mom is fully in head over heels on this end, a bit removed from reality….. and the worst part is – by my own doing !!!
See – I decided to write an exam….something I have not done in “I-don’t- know- how- many- years”. Crazy, but true. Who has time to study when there is so much going on around you… all I know is that last time I did an exam… I did not worry about laundry, did not have a household, kids or school routines to plan around…but this time I have.. Parent teacher conferences carry on despite your little “I was hoping to cram in a few chapters today” outcry.
Oh my..what a difference !!
What a Monday !!
The great thing – next Monday it will be ALL OVER….and it will just be another Monday…”wash-day”…..”being-around- the- house- day….”
So, I might as well make a big fuss while it is “Mom-is-out-of-whack-day” today !!
How’s your Monday going ?
Some mid-week happiness.
Listening to some of my favorites – from the “olden” days like my kids would say…..
Taking me many years back from when they were at their peak…and today… still the best we have seen in Music.
I Like this !!
and I LOVE this…..
I recently saw the program on Agnetha Faltskog as a documentary on the in-flight program on the plane. She amazed me and I was thrilled to see her back on the scene.
Love that Gary chased her up and convinced her back on stage !!!
Enjoy the rest of your week.
I love my blog. But I neglect it so much. I don’t think it loves me very much.
Probably because I over think what I write on here. A lot of times, I would write down things, but then thinking – do I really want people to know that, even though they would love to know or care about me and my thoughts/ things ?? That explains all the posts in the draft box that I never published. Or I would write something and then think – who cares about that? Two very different things…but with the same result. I end up not writing or rather, publishing very little of what I actually write or think. Lately – I stopped myself at the “thought” already, way before I get to the writing down part. So it got even worse !
Kind of makes me sad that I think that way – because first of all – my blog is my space where I come to chat. And those who care, can read or listen…and those who don’t, can leave. So, I really don’t need to think so much, but just write….there are so many people who love company – even if online- that they would love chatting with me in their minds… So, here I am – back !
2014 – Bring it on !!
And then I saw the video yesterday of the guy who danced 100 days in China. (especially that awkward moment when a lady walked in on him filming in the elevator (at 1:43) – I really think he should have left that out…). Anyway – how goofy and yet, he doesn’t care…he shared. I just don’t want to be “that” guy. And the fact that the video gets so many “views” has nothing to do with people’s opinions on it. It means that so many people watched….regardless of what they thought of it. So, I usually try to make it worth your “watch”…make you feel like you are happy you read or stayed…. but that’s just me. Maybe that’s the wrong approach. Oh well – good for him anyway – dancing 100 days in China…. who knows what all the people thought who saw him in real life. And if he reads this, he would probably say “so what??! what they thought……. I made it on the internet and into your home and now you talk about me. Maybe that is the goal for some. Oh well – I don’t want to be mean. I hope it made him happy. That’s the most important thing and that’s why we need to do things. Life is too short to do things just for what you THINK other people will THINK. Hey – again…. I don’t wanna be mean. Good for him… at least he can dance and is kind of cute.
But at least – and hats off to him….. he is doing something. Unlike me who thinks so hard about all the things I want to do ! And then end up not doing because I can’t decide which one of my million ideas to pursue. Anyone out there knowing this feeling?? It sucks.
Then again …did you all see the family who made the video in their Christmas jammies? I loved that and it was a refreshing take on the old Christmas card. Kuddos to them and good luck to their new career in video making. They did a super job and made my Christmas happier. I know they don’t want to be just famous – they look like they have a blast doing it ! Some people just know their calling and go out and do it and it is a huge success.
Ok – over 13 million people saw it… so, don’t tell me you are not one of them…but just in case (not judging) – here you go !
Back to all the things I usually don’t say on my blog and the reasons for that… which is what is prompting this post…
There is also the privacy factor. How much do you “share” in a world that has all these predators out there… stalkers….. fans who go crazy and follow people and ruin their lives and trespass their private grounds. Ok – who am I kidding here?? It’s not as if I am a celebrity or a legend or a princess. I think I can go very far before the papparrazzi will break down my front door !! I watched the movie of DIANA – how sad and tragic her life turned out…but then again – she would have not been who she was if she was not that famous. I guess a choice between two evils in the end. And there was just nothing she could do towards the end to change who she was or the life she had….despite the incredible longing that she had for winning the love of her heart surgeon that she so desperately desired. She was a princess and nobody could change that in the end. She had to live….and die…. with that.
I am not a celebrity and I never will be. But I guess we all have our inner circle…. and I guess we should care about what they read…Trying to find the balance between what needs to be said and what people would forgive you for if you don’t edit out most of your thoughts before you even put them out there.
Have you ever thought how hard celebrities need to work to “keep up” their status?? We all – well some of us – often think – what can I do to make me rich and famous? But have you thought of how hard it must be..to keep up the appearances? To keep afloat the lifestyle throughout your life – long after you for example have the stamina to make the dance moves you once did on a stage when you were 20 ?? Oh man….. that thought alone was enough for me to be okay with it that I would never be famous and a celebrity…. and hence would not have the burden to sustain that lifestyle for the 40 or more years that will be there after the peak of your fame?! Yes, it is great to have all that money…but then again…you need to use so much of that money just to keep yourself looking good and avoid a bad hair day or it will forever haunt you in one of the saucy magazines. Ok – convinced myself that celebrity status is not for me. Too much work. Too much money. Too much pressure.
I have been on holiday and I got to see so many great places and beautiful things. Will share that soon with you.
Still very emotional to be so far away from one’s country and be flooded with all the media coverage bringing back so many memories and stirring up so many feelings as a South African.
So many thoughts on humanity, humbleness and hope has been set alight this past week in everyone’s thoughts.
And this is no exception….
May we all be inspired to spread peace and happiness during this period of reflection.
Nelson Mandela. Madiba – as he was fondly known.
Today marks a special day in history as the world reflects on Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) and the profound impact he had on the entire human population. And I take this moment, with everybody else, to think and reflect on how he shaped my own life.
I am from South Africa. I was born when Mandela had already spent 6 years in prison. I left South Africa, as an expat, when he was the President in Office. I was born into a world of Apartheid, which I had nothing to do with….. and I lived through the transformation and unification period that South Africa underwent with his release. When I left the country in 1998 to join my husband on his career path, South Africans were living the dream of a post-apartheid era where the Rainbow Nation joined hands in truth and reconciliation in an unique feeling of unity that Mandela orchestrated at the time. None of the scenarios played out which so many feared in anticipation of this event. Solely contributed to his great leadership and strength of character, wisdom and compassion. I was proud of what our people were able to achieve under his leadership. Like a child receives the rewards of good parenting, us as South Africans received the rewards of being taught phenomenal citizenship and forgiveness as character traits, amongst so many other things, while we were in his house, under his roof, being brought up with Mandela as our country’s parent – our President.
What a Remarkable Reconciliator and Remediator.
When he became the President, I was 27 years old. The time he spent in jail. To me that would mean wiping out my entire life at that point and try to compare that to being confined to a small cell for that entire period, working on one thing and one thing only – Freedom. Something I received as a birthright. By then I had achieved so much already – and yet not understanding nearly enough of what was going on behind my back, from even before I was born. Only later in life I realized that I would wear that tag around my neck wherever I went in the world … being asked about it and certainly many time beings judged as a white, Afrikaans person who lived through the oppression era that the world was pointing fingers at. Simply for being born white. As he was fighting the struggle for being born black. Worlds apart in the same country. That is not what I choose to dwell on today.
The amazing thing is that Mandela meant so many things to so many people in this world. Irrespective of color, irrespective of race. Whether you are a South African or not, whether you lived there or not, whether he was your President or not, whether you understood fully the depth of the cause he fought or not, whether you were part of that system or not… Every person has his own impressions, his own lessons learnt from Mandela’s life , his leading example and his incredibly inspirational integrity that will continue to inspire generations to come.
Today we see non-stop images of his life as every channel pull up their archives. But there are also works of art everywhere in commemoration – some of which you might not get to see on TV. My personal favorite is this sculpture that consist of 50 ten metre high laser cut steel plates set into this particular landscape in South Africa.
It is done by the sculptor Marco Cianfanelli, of Johannesburg, and it was done representing the 50 year anniversary of when and where Mandela was captured and arrested in 1962.
Besides the brilliance in the sculpture itself, it represents another lesson that I have learnt in life ..not from Mandela himself, but from these steel plates representing the image of Nelson Mandela.
Sometimes you are so close to a situation that you fail to see what it is all about.
You have to step back to get the picture.
And sometimes when you stand back, and you still look from the wrong angle – you will still not get the essence of what it is about – it will remain a steel structure, 50 steel poles standing on its own or a skewed picture from your own point of view, not fully in perspective.
But when you get the right distance and the right angle from a situation, a setting or a scenario …. and you look again……only then you stand in awe of what you have been missing and only then you see the beauty and the brilliance of the image that the sculptor had in mind when he created it. Only then you get the picture and you understand what the process was all about and what the creator of that idea (or ideology) saw long before it even became a reality.
And in my own life…. I have to continue to step back and look at things from the right angle and the right distance to get perspective. Even today still.
Today will start a 10 day period of mourning in South Africa. It will be over on December, 16th – my birthday and a public holiday in South Africa – Reconciliation Day.
But for the rest of my life, the lessons and the inspiration we could draw from his life will live on in my heart and in so many others who were inspired by him and his unthinkable capability to forgive and move forward.
The world mourns his passing but rejoice the presence and impact he had on every South African and beyond its borders.
Thank you Madiba for what you did for our country, what you taught me and what your life and legacy continues to teach the world today.
I honor you today in this post. May God bless your wife and your family, in mourning alongside the Nation.