Columns 22.8.2013 06:00 am

‘Not well’, but at least he’s alive

BBC reporter Andrew Harding claims that he had the chance to shake Oscar Pistorius’s hand when the murder-accused Paralympian appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The reporter tweeted that he “shook his (Pistorius’s) hand and asked how he was”.

In response Pistorius, “shook his head and mouthed ‘not well’ under his breath. Now he is talking to family.”

Such revelations and pictures of a seemingly over-emotional Oscar Pistorius in court can push any of his fans into heartbreak. Of course Pistorius is not well but the man is still alive. The same cannot be said for the woman he shot dead, deliberately or accidentally on February 14 this year.

As dashing as the young Pistorius looks, so much has changed in his life, tragically. He will forever be haunted by the truth of what happened that Valentine’s Day morning. He has the chance to face the court and still take breath each day, but a young woman who has been painted as an “angel” and who was just beginning her modelling career is no longer breathing.

Judging by the statements the Steenkamps have been releasing since the death of their daughter, the family is still as distraught as the day that they heard their daughter had died at the hands of her lover.

Pistorius may have said he is not well, but one hopes that he will take great care of himself because on March 2014 he will not have the chance to not be well. He has a case to answer. A woman died, a woman he is said to have loved. The Steenkamp family, South Africa and the world are waiting to hear if the man they once associated with great determination, an icon, intentionally killed his lover, or if it was, as Pistorius maintains, an accident.

Matters of the heart are complicated. In spite of all the speculation flying around about what may have led Pistorius to shoot Steenkamp, only Pistorius knows why. Sadly Steenkamp can longer tell her side of the story.

It is heartbreaking that a man once idolised is facing murder charges. Life can take a turn for the worse for anyone but no one has the right to take a gun and point it at someone else. That act changes lives irreversibly.

 

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