News / Africa

Reactions Stream In on Pistorius Bail Decision

Oscar Pistorius is seen through a car window as he leaves court after being granted bail, in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 22, 2013.
Oscar Pistorius is seen through a car window as he leaves court after being granted bail, in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 22, 2013.
An audible sigh of relief went up in the courtroom when the Chief Magistrate announced that South African Olympic runner Oscar Pistorius could be released on bail. For Pistorius' friends and family, it was a brief moment of celebration.

Since the bail hearing in his murder case started on Tuesday, famed double amputee athlete Oscar Pistorius has been coming and going from the Pretoria Magistrate Court in the back of a police vehicle, usually with a blanket covering his head.

On Friday afternoon, Pistorius left court in a silver Range Rover, with darkened windows. While many in the media gave chase, it was the first taste of freedom the South African Olympian has had since he was arrested in the early morning hours of February 14 for shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp.

The prosecution claims it was a premeditated murder, the defense claims Pistorius mistook his girlfriend for a burglar.  

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, speaks to journalists at the end of the bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 22, 2013.Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, speaks to journalists at the end of the bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 22, 2013.
x
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, speaks to journalists at the end of the bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 22, 2013.
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, speaks to journalists at the end of the bail hearing at the magistrate court in Pretoria, South Africa, Feb. 22, 2013.
Pistorius' uncle, Arnold Pistorius, gave the only family statement after the bail decision Friday afternoon.

"Yes, we are relieved, with the fact that Oscar got bail today," he said. "But at the same time we are in mourning for the death of Reeva, with her family."

He maintained his nephew's story is true, saying, "As a family, we know Oscar's version of what happened that tragic night. We know that that is the truth and that will prevail in the coming court cases."

Medupe Simasiku, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority, said the prosecution has to focus on the trial.

"It's not necessarily disappointing," Simasiku said. "It's normal in the criminal justice system that the bail can be granted or denied. Definitely we accept that it has been granted. Accepting it is not a point where we are going to be disappointed and lose hope in this case, we have this confidence we will make through this case."

Outside of the courthouse, there were both supporters and those who felt Pistorius should be kept locked up.

Down the street from the courthouse, Pretoria resident Steve Fourie felt Pistorius should stay inside.

"He should not get bail. Definitely not," he said. "If you have money in this country, you can get out of this country very easily. It's not a problem. And I think he will go out of the country…I'm not a big fan at the moment of him. It's very cruel what he did to an innocent person. He took a life."

South Africa PistoriusSouth Africa Pistorius
x
South Africa Pistorius
South Africa Pistorius
Sarida Bezuidenhout, who drove an hour from Rustenburg to stand outside of the courthouse, had a different take.

"I'm just here to support him. Just to let him know that my heart is going out to him," she said. "I feel sorry for him and I always believe, and I tell my kids that too, You're innocent until proven guilty."

While reactions to the bail decision stream in, the bigger decision for Pistorius is further down the line. His next court appearance is set for June 4.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Anne
February 23, 2013 5:35 PM
After noting every detail in this case, I can start to believe that what he did was a terrible mistake. The reaction in the courtroom was not of selfishness but of trauma and overwhelming remorse. A person who reacts like that, on a daily basis, is emotionally incapable of looking at someone in the eye and taking their life. To note, these kinds of situations happen in South Africa more often that you think, family relatives being mistaken for intruders. If this was a family relative, or anyone else, other than a girlfriend, I think the case wouldn't be getting as much attention. We're just so use to believing the scenario of the abusive and controlling male partner one day just losing it in a fit of rage and killing his girlfriend/wife/significant other in cold blood; that ideology is so engrained in us that even if the truth were to be said, many of us wouldn't be able to see it. Many of the details from the case that were originally reported, such as the bloody bat, were fabricated. The domestic assault they are referring to wasn't even an assault. He asked a woman to leave his property, she refused, and he slammed the door in front of her, accidentally catching her foot. We will have to wait and see at the trail, but this kind of behaviour from a person who is accused of premeditated murder is actually quite abnormal, when compared to all the other criminals.


by: thebun from: usa
February 22, 2013 6:43 PM
While I felt much emotional pain for the death of a woman I don't even know, I also felt empathy for Oscar, also someone I don't know, only because the look of grief and shock on his face was that
of a very broken young man who may have actually made a horrible mistake and actually took the life of his beloved by accident, and he was trying to deal with his intense personal pain.I too believe that you are innocent til proven guilty.

In Response

by: Andy Lord
February 23, 2013 6:08 AM
One word that cannot be applied to Oscar is "innocent." He killed that woman. The only question is why. At the very best, he is guilty of negligent manslaughter, or as you referred to it, "a horrible mistake." His intense personal pain could just as easily be interpreted as the anguish of someone who knows he's going to prison--even if he's telling the truth, he's a trigger-happy loose cannon who very negligently snuffed out a wonderful young woman without taking the most normal precautions. His life will never be the same--deservedly so.

In Response

by: Baraka from: USA
February 22, 2013 11:53 PM
Watching Oscar at the Olympics overcoming his shortcomings inspired me to start going to the gym and quit complaining of my asthma! so far i have lost 25 lbs down to 145 lbs! Feeling lots of empathy and compassion to each side of the family and may the truth prevail. RIP Reeva.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid