PRETORIA – As the trial of former Paralympic gold medallist Oscar Pistorius drizzles towards its inevitable conclusion, support for the murder-accused athlete is sharply on the rise.
An abundance of pages dedicated to Pistorius have shot up all over Facebook, blogs voicing support are flourishing, and every day a group of dedicated fans waits outside the North Gauteng High Court to cheer him on. These Oscar supporters proudly describe themselves as “Pistorians”.
Oscar Pistorius is on trial for the murder of his girlfriend, the model Reeva Steenkamp, on Valentine’s Day 2013. He face life imprisonment if found guilty.
Supporters of the track star claim that, although they have empathy with Reeva and her family, they feel compelled to champion Oscar, because accidentally murdering your girlfriend in the bathroom of your house on a security estate is the sort of thing that can happen to anyone.
“I can relate with poor Oscar,” sighed Dawie Myburg. “I’ve irresponsibly shot at noises in the dark on occasion as well. Luckily, I’m a terrible shot and haven’t killed my wife yet, but this can happen to anyone. “
Others feel that it may not have been entirely accidental, but that it’s still no reason to vilify Pistorius. “From time to time, every one of us experience so much uncontrollable anger that we just want to kill,” mulled Rian du Preez. “This can happen to anyone. I don’t think Oscar should be made to suffer for it.”
“I’ve certainly killed a girlfriend or two in my life,” added Peet van Staden.” This sort of thing just happens, you know. Who are you to judge?”
Outside the courtroom, the Pistorians were fuelled by unbridled enthusiasm. “The last time I took part in a mass gathering was for the Red October march, when we protested to raise awareness of attacks on white farmers,” beamed Christine Van Zyl, who came all the way from Modimolle to show her support.
This flock sees no contradiction between opposing violence and supporting a murder accused. “No, but you see, farm murderers should be condemned,” Christine explained. They are evil, disgusting monsters that thrive on violence. But Oscar is a kind-hearted, exceptionally gifted murderer, and we must be there for him.”
Some fans had strong opinions on prosecutor Gerrie Nel’s methods of cross-examination. “I can’t stand it when that coconut-headed Gerrie bullies him like that,” cried Lorinda de Roets, in between drags on a Dunhill Lite. “Oscar was only accused of murder, not of being the devil. He doesn’t deserve this.”
On her blog, Oscar devotee Lindie Steenveld described the injustice suffered by cold blooded killers. “The Waterkloof 4 only wanted to beat the homeless man up a little,” she wrote. “They never meant to kill anyone. Unfortunately the man died, and they were found guilty of murder. But have some sympathy for them. This sort of thing can happen to anyone.”
Many fans confess to suffering trauma as a result of Oscar’s shooting incident. Some even claim to experience night terrors, just like Oscar. “Since Oscar shot Reeva, I get night terrors too,” sobbed Kobus Neethling. “I’m absolutely terrified that I might accidentally shoot my family in the middle of the night. Before that night, it never occurred to me that it can happen to me too. I wonder if I should get rid of my revolver.”
“It doesn’t help at all,” interrupted Dirk Havenga. “After Oscar shot Reeva, I got rid of all my guns. I was petrified by the prospect of shooting someone. However, I still get nightmares. What if I grab a steak knife and accidentally stab someone?”
Not every Pistorian has a grand motive for supporting the athlete. Waving around a banner sporting Oscar’s face and the words “Oscar didn’t lie”, burly Wikus Burger grinned: “I heard that he screams like a girl, and I just felt so sorry for the poor guy.”
While many South Africans are rather puzzled by the Oscar Fan Club, some people do sympathise with them. “We shouldn’t judge these people,” remarked Yvette Maarschalk.” They can’t really help it. Supporting Oscar is something that could happen to anyone.” BN
While serving time and trying to fight the system from the inside, Barend learnt a thing or two about the law. He follows the law closely, from a distance, and the law follows him. Do not tell anyone that he’s out.