On the 14th of February 2013 I read the first news report about the paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius shooting an intruder at his place in Silver Lakes in Pretoria East on News 24. Later I picked up that he was arrested by the SAPS and that the woman killed was his South African model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Since then social media networks have been inundated with Tweets and Facebook statuses about the Oscar Pistorius Bail Hearing (which has amazingly been stretched out over the last four days).
I’ve watched the whole thing develop over the past week and I’ve kept quiet about it. I have to admit and wasn’t surprised to see that some “sharp” individuals were posting Oscar Pistorius jokes before you could say “Julius Malema”. I wasn’t one of them. I basically didn’t touch this topic with a 10 foot pole, because I didn’t want to come across as an insensitive bastard and because I think it’s stupid to make jokes about things like this.
Seeing the whole Oscar Pistorius thing unfold on Twitter’s trending #OscarPistorius hashtag (thanks to some awesome live tweeting from South African reporters like Barry Bateman) I have to say that I think the SAPS did not count on Oscar Pistorius getting one of the best lawyers in the country. It also came to light that the media conjured up some details in early reports about the case out of thin air.
All kinds of facts are being pointed out by the defense and prosecution alike and it’s only the bail hearing. The case has not gone to trial yet. News 24 broke their concurrent user record on day two of the bail hearing – more than 78,000 people were on the popular news website at the same time watching the hearing unfold. He finally got bail today (nearly 4 days after the hearing started). Imagine what’s going to happen in the South African social media and news sphere during the trial.
I think the media is completely pulling this Oscar Pistorius thing out of proportion. Other important news is being ignored. President Zuma could easily pass South Africa’s version of the Patriot Act and no-one would notice. The eyes of the South African public is so focused on the whole Oscar Pistorius thing it almost reminds me of someone who’s addicted to Survivor, Jersey Shore or some TV show with Kim Kardashian. And you all know just how much I love reality TV…
The only two things that you can be sure of when it comes to this whole fiasco is that we were reminded how the media can make up stuff in order to build up sensation about a hot topic in the media and the ONLY person who really knows what happened on that dreadful night is Oscar Pistorius. Only time will tell us the truth about the Oscar Pistorius case. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
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