News / Africa

Calls for Tough Justice in Pistorius Case

Calls for Tough Justice in Pistorius Casei
X
February 15, 2014 1:17 PM
The first anniversary of the shooting death of South African model Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of her boyfriend, Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, has sparked calls for tougher justice in cases of violence against women. VOA's Mark Snowiss reports.

Calls for Tough Justice in Pistorius Case

TEXT SIZE - +
The first anniversary of the shooting death of South African model Reeva Steenkamp at the hands of her boyfriend, Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorius, has sparked protests and calls for tougher justice in cases of violence against women.

The 29-year-old model and reality TV star was shot three times while in Pistorius' bathroom in the pre-dawn hours of Valentine's Day 2013.

The double-amputee sprinter, known as "Blade Runner," told a court last year he shot Steenkamp when he mistook her for an intruder. His trial is set to begin March 3.

When it does, a vocal group of South Africans want the legal system to send a message.

"We wish that all cases could be speedily resolved, conviction rates to be very high and that all those that even think of abusing a woman would think twice before they can even abuse or think of doing anything wrong against a woman or a child here in [the South African province of] Gauteng," said Faith Mazibuko, a member of the Executive Council of Safety and Security.

Pistorius on Friday issued his first public statement about Steenkamp's death.

In a message posted on his Twitter account, he said he would carry the "complete trauma of that day" for the rest of his life.

He faces a possible life sentence with a minimum of 25 years in prison before the chance of parole if he is convicted of premeditated murder in Steenkamp's killing.

The 27-year-old also faces other firearms-related charges. A judge will deliver a verdict. There is no trial by jury in South Africa.

Protesters Friday demanded the once-revered sports hero face transparent justice.

"We want them to ensure that the justice system happens where everybody can see it. They should not make it behind closed doors even if it's legal," said Patricia Chueu of the African National Congress Women's League.

Pistorius was the first double-amputee to run at the world championships and the Olympics.

Mark Snowiss

Mark Snowiss is a Washington D.C.-based multimedia reporter.  He has written and edited for various media outlets including Pacifica and NPR affiliates in Los Angeles. Follow him on Twitter @msnowiss and on Google Plus

You May Like

Multimedia Anti-Keystone XL Protests Continue

Demonstrators are worried about pipeline's effect on climate change, their traditional way of life, health and safety More

Thailand's Political Power Struggle Continues

Court gave Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra until May 2 to prepare her defense over abuse of power charges but uncertainty remains over election timing More

Malaysia Plane Search Tests Limits of Ocean Mapping Technology

Expert tells VOA existing equipment’s maximum operating depth is around 6 kilometers as operation continues on ocean bed for any trace of MH370 More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: chukwuemeka ukor from: lagos Nigéria
February 16, 2014 6:17 AM
It is unfortunate that incident happened because the sight of her before shooting must have shown him the girl friend is around before pulling the trigger.Thats why we advise everyone must be very careful before taking any action.


by: Abel Ogah from: OJU Nigeria
February 15, 2014 12:52 PM
Oscar has no hiding place. He seems quilty as charged. Would be murderers should think twice.


by: John from: Bombay
February 15, 2014 9:29 AM
Oscar world can be fooled. He is 100% right if we look at prosecution in which guilty is pre-found i.e 1) When light was on his girl friend not in bed how come it possible to think of burglar instead of girl friend? 2)He said he shot at bathroom and did not use hand stick. What about stains on stick?
To be frank Hollywood Oscar is nothing before this Real Oscar.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Messagei
X
Penelope Poulou
April 22, 2014 5:53 PM
Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pet Kangaroo Helps Spread Environmental Message

Children’s author Julia Heckathorn travels the world to learn about different ecosystems and endangered animals. She pours her knowledge into children’s books, hoping the next generation will right the environmental wrongs of our times. As in many children's books, the main character in Heckathorn's stories is an animal. Unlike those other characters, though, this one is real - a kangaroo, that lives in the author’s backyard. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Pro-Russian Separatists Plan 'Federalization Referendum' in Eastern Ukraine

Pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine say they plan to move forward next month with a referendum vote for greater autonomy, despite the Geneva agreement reached with Russia, the U.S. and Ukraine to end the political conflict. VOA's Brian Padden reports from the city of Donetsk in Eastern Ukraine.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video International Students Learn Film Production in World's Movie Capital

Hollywood - which is part of Los Angeles - is the movie capital of the world, and many aspiring filmmakers go there in hopes of breaking into the movie business. Mike O'Sullivan reports that regional universities are also a magnet for students who hope to become producers or directors.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid