Lying in the Sun

Masipa's Mistake - 2

Masipa's Mistake - 2

The following is the transcript of  interview Sky News, Jeremy Thompson with Sky's Alex Crawford and South African Legal Expert Martin Hood.

I have to say that Martin Hood raises yet another point where Judge Masipa failed to take into account crucial information and failed to apply the law, in respect of the Firearms Control Act in so doing completely ignoring the fact that Oscar Pistorius WAS aware of when and under what conditions he would be allowed to 'shoot.'    It makes for interesting reading.

In the opening Crawford states there will be no guarantee that Pistorius will escape jail at 'sentencing' in around one month's time.

Throughout this trial Ms Crawford in my opinion has fawned over the Pistorius family, and no more so than over the two days of Judge Masipa's verdict.

In this interview where the Judgement of Masipa was the issue, Crawford as ever introduces the Pistorius family of how poor Oscar needs to re-build his life, his future.

Sentencing has not yet been passed down.  The Steenkamp family not given time to catch their breath to absorb this shocking verdict, and we have Ms Crawford SO CONCERNED over the future of Oscar Pistorius!

In other interviews/reports Crawford stated that what links the Pistorius family and Steenkamp family is that they were both EQUALLY stunned at Judge Masipa's verdict.


No one could be more stunned and shocked than the parents of Miss Steenkamp!

No one can deny that this case will have affected in some way the Pistorius family, but NEVER should they be considered to be suffering in the way that the Steenkamp's must be or that there is any link.

The Pistorius family, good old Uncle Arnold, his "shock" (if we believe he was shocked at this verdict) is that Oscar Pistorius did not receive NOT GUILTY verdicts on ALL counts.

If anything is bothering Uncle Arnold Pistorius it is that!

But let's face it - Barry Roux will have told the Pistorius family that at best it will be a verdict of culpable homicide and he will have assured them also that Oscar Pistorius will not serve jail time.

They are not paying Roux a fortune for him not to keep them informed of all aspects!

As for Ms Crawford stating that it is not guaranteed that Pistorius will not receive 'jail time' at sentencing - she, like Martin Brunt Sky News are both having a laugh.  (I must point out there are at least two interviews with Brunt and Thompson.  It is in the first that he speaks of the wealth of the Pistorius family and of how the Steenkamp's may want to 'cash in')

Pistorius will not spend a single day, hour or minute in a jail cell!

Crawford knows this - why else is she barking on about him building his future his career!

He may receive some sort of suspended sentence, but he will not do "time" for killing Miss Steenkamp.

There is not a South African legal expert, judge or lawyer who believes he will serve time.

In fact, Curlewis took the time to tell us that the price Pistorius will no doubt pay is around R15000 for his conviction on discharging a firearm in a public place, which Curlewis told us was not a problem for Pistorius as he has the financial means to pay such a penalty fine.   And that equally a fine of presumably a greater amount will apply to his being convicted of the culpable homicide charge.  Again, Curlewis made it perfectly clear that Pistorius would have no problem in being able to pay a penalty fine (can hardly write those words - a penalty fine for killing someone for taking the life of a young woman?) on this count, such is his wealth and the wealth of his family.

He made it abundantly clear that Pistorius was ENTITLED under South African Law to be be given the opportunity to pay a fine.


"However since there is provision in the Act for a penalty fine INSTEAD of direct imprisonment, obviously she must give him that benefit, advantage as well, and obviously he has the financial ability to pay for it so I don't think he's going to spend time in jail."

And I don't think so either!

Not a single legal expert in South Africa has come forward and said that they believe Pistorius will do time.

The only ones who have
'made out' (not pointed out as part of informing the public of the ins and outs of sentencing - but 'made-out' as though to take the heat out of the current situation for Pistorius) that poor old Oscar might see the inside of a prison are Crawford and Brunt.

Brunt saying that maybe if Pistorius is sentenced to 10 years that this will somehow appease the public.

Brunt further spoke of the great personal wealth of Oscar Pistorius, and the Pistorius family, of how it was quite different for the Steenkamp's but that perhaps they could try for some sort of financial compensation!

This pair, Brunt and Crawford their utterings at times quite beggar belief!

If either one of them truly believe that Pistorius is going to jail, they are both needing to spend some time in a padded cell!

Sky should be glad they have Jeremy Thompson to keep it real!

If I may point out also, Martin Hood, in the transcript below speaks of Sean Rens, this guy is a firearms expert and trains others in the use of firearms. 

Sean Rens testified in Court that:  Oscar Pistorius passed a competency test, showing that he was FULLY AWARE of the lawful and unlawful use of potentially lethal force against INTRUDERS.

It is this which Martin Hood said Judge Masipa ignored, glossed over!

I will point out also that Martin Hood, a South African lawyer but also a firearms expert.

He stated early in this case that there was no way the gun which was discharged by Pistorius in the restaurant could have gone off accidentally, it just was not possible.

I have to say on this point too, that Judge Masipa I feel would have discharged Pistorius of this count also if she thought for a moment she was able to.  Unfortunately she could not as too many witnesses to this count, too many persons including the management of the restaurant who knew of it.

The Interview:  (the beginning was simply Crawford speaking of there being no guarantee that Pistorius would not receive jail sentence.  I cut to the chase of the interview)


The case has thrown the spotlight on the justice system here and how it works here in this country.  But it has also put under the spotlight the use of firearms.


Indeed.  If we look at the evidence of Sean Rens critical in my view to this case he was called to ask what training Oscar had received and what knowledge he had about the Firearms Control Act. With specific reference to when he could or could not use a firearm in this type  of situation.

It’s the first high profile case that I am aware of under our new legislation when the whole concept of competency has actually been canvassed in court and unfortunately Judge Masipa completely glossed over it.

I think that had she paid more attention to what the competency testing procedure was all about, then she would have been able to come to a conclusion that Oscar DID KNOW that he should not shoot in those circumstances.

Unfortunately we now how have the converse, and that is that people are saying -  'Are the firearm laws effective enough, should we perhaps not be revisiting those laws so that we can stop this from happening again?'

And that unfortunately, I don’t think is correct as it is NOT the laws - it’s the APPLICATION of the laws and the INTERPRETATION of the laws that are a problem in THIS PARTICULAR CASE - but that is most certainly a sentiment that’s been expressed.


This case has raised an awful lot of questions like that, and it's also polarised opinion in this country hasn’t it?


Very much so I mean I think there has maybe been three courts:

  • The court of Judge Masipo (sic) which found him not guilty of murder but guilty of culpable homicide.

  • And there has been the court of public opinion, and if you talk to people on the street more often than not, they will definitely say they are stunned he didn’t get a guilty conviction of murder.  Certainly on social media on the twittersphere they are absolutely condemning of him.

  • AND then there is the Court of legal experts, who also seem to be... well Martin (Hood) said earlier they are not divided they definitely seem to think the judge has erred in her interpretation of the law.

So Oscar Pistorius and his reputation need to be rebuilt at the very least, and I think the Pistorius family are very keenly aware of that and that’s why you saw his uncle coming out and addressing the media at this time, and I'm sure he will again after sentencing, to say that there are no victors in this, that this is a tragedy for both families a tragedy for South Africa as they've lost their national hero at the moment.   He needs to rebuild himself, and in a way the country has been seen as tainted by this huge spotlight it's been quite negative overall.  It's been really negative actually.


I think there are a lot of negatives thoughts.  We all started this process right at the beginning when the media was allowed into the actual court room... we started out thinking this is a showcase for South Africa.  It's a world first.  It's going to be something that we can use to show the rest of the world that we are not the basket case we are often portrayed unfortunately as, in some of the foreign media, and I think it’s gone perfectly fine until the end and the end didn’t meet the expectations of what the public and what the LEGAL EXPERTS had, and I think that showcasing of our legal system has perhaps slipped as a result of that.

One can only hope that when it comes to the sentencing whatever is appropriate in the circumstances is acceptable, not only to us, but to the rest of the world. 

That the rest of the world and the public can see that at the end the result was a just result.


There is but one thing I would add to the final comments by Martin Hood and that is - That I would hope that the sentencing whatever it might be is acceptable, not to us or the rest of the world, but to Reeva's parents, her family and friends.  A sentence that Reeva if she was alive would find acceptable in the case of any other young woman shot and killed by an angry abusive partner.

13th September 2014

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