The sports world at large is reeling at the terrible tragedy that unfolded in a high security, upper class gated community in South Africa last week. The whole World is watching intently as the trial of Olympian Oscar Pistorius
begins, with opening statements towards the bail decision this morning. As the details around the death of Reeva Steenkamp
emerge, the surrounding fog of uncertainty is possibly getting even murkier, as opposed to clearer. Pistorius and his team are sticking rigidly to their claim that the shooting was effectively self-defence, defending one’s self against a burglar.
Of course, none of us were in the house when the tragedy, or murder, occurred, so until justice has its day, we can’t really pass final judgement, tempting as it may be. However, Pistorius’s pre-planned and calculating statement at the bail hearing today had some massive holes in it.
Add to that the hint that a motive may have been found, and Pistorius would appear to be skating on extremely thin ice. Before we delve into this possible motive, a quick look at Pistorius’s statement from earlier today.
Essentially Pistorius is claiming he was in bed with Steenkamp, and woke to close a sliding door. At that point he heard a noise in the bathroom and felt a "sense of terror" rush through him. He said he got his gun and moved towards the bathroom, and screamed at the "intruder" to get out of the house and for Steenkamp to call the police. He thought she was still in bed.
We can stop it right there, there is plenty more, but frankly they rest is just noise. From that little alone we can pose the questions that would seem to completely undress Pistorius’s story.Read more US crime news here
Was Steenkamp a mute? When Pistorius shouted through the door at the alleged ‘intruder’, why did Steenkamp not reply simply, ‘It’s me’.
If the burglar was behind a closed door in the bathroom (odd enough behaviour as it was), and not posing any clear, immediate threat to Pistorius, then why didn’t he just call the police, and maintain a watch on the door with gun drawn? Why did Pistorius feel compelled to shoot through a door at this silent adversary? (even writing those words, ‘silent adversary’, you realise how tragically comical Pistorius’s pathetic story is, seriously, he wants us to believe Steenkamp maintained a mute like silence even when Pistorius ‘screamed’ angrily at her (the unknown intruder) behind the door?
Finally, and perhaps most simply of all, with all this going on, Pistorius didn’t notice his girlfriend was not in the bed? With what he allegedly thought was a intruder in the house, he didn’t bother to check on his girlfriend, to make sure she was safe? Surely for most decent human beings, for most caring boyfriends, the first job would have been to ensure your girlfriend was safe, before taking on an intruder in armed combat?
The holes in his story are big enough that you could steer the Titanic through them. Possibly worse yet, there are suggestions growing towards a motive for the apparent murder. Step forward star South African rugby player, Francois Hougaard
The 24 year old plays for the Blue Bulls, a team based in the South African capital of Pretoria, and also plays for the national team, the Spingboks. He is a popular young man, his Facebook page has almost 15,000 likes, and he has over 67,000 followers (at time of writing anyway) on Twitter. Steenkamp was believed to be in a “close friendship” with him when she was killed. The pair had reportedly dated in the past. According to one report, Pistorius and Steenkamp were fighting over a text message from Hougaard early Thursday morning, shortly before her death. That is why police are now allegedly very interested in analysing Steenkamp’s iPad, to review exactly what was going on between her and Hougaard.
Steenkamp and Pistorius were apparently introduced by Justin Divaris, a luxury car salesman who apparently also knows Hougaard as well. According to reports, it was Divaris whom Pistorius called first after shooting Steenkamp, reportedly sobbing to Divaris: "My baba, I've killed my baba — God take me away."
The picture above shows Steenkamp with Divaris to her left with Hougaard seated directly beneath him. Divaris tweeted the picture after Steenkamp died, saying "Happier times with special people. We all miss u so much Reevs."
Hougaard retweeted it.Read more: US con man stole names from Irish babies' graves for insurance scams and fake passports
Whilst his associates are saying he had nothing to do with this horrible tragedy, Hougaard himself added fuel to the fire of speculation when he pulled out of playing for the Bulls at the weekend as speculation grew about his relationship with the slain model.
Reporters who are experts on the South African justice system are suggesting this trial could go on for a long, long time. With the injection of news around Hougaard into the case, one thing is paradoxically clear.
The whole situation just got a great deal murkier. Follow Cormac on TwitterComments We love your comments! The communicative back-and-forth is one of the best parts of sports journalism. A couple of quick notes on same. This is a sports blog, and it deals with both the USA and Ireland, hopefully that answers a few questions! Also, your opinion is greatly valued, strong ones even more so, but if you revert to personal attacks or any kind of hate speech, your comment will be deleted. Repeat offenders will have their IP address banned.Thanks for all the great feedback to date!