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Saturday, 13 September 2014


The world has been in a tizz and there is widespread dismay in South Africa at the acquittal of #OscarPistorius on a charge of murder of his girlfriend, #ReevaSteenkamp.  A conviction of culpable homicide (manslaughter) is cold comfort for those seeking justice for Reeva.  As with all dismay, someone of course has to be blamed. In this case the target for blame has somewhat shifted from Oscar onto #JudgeMasipa.

Suddenly, because millions of people have lived in the courtroom through TV and social media, we have all become judges and experts in the law over the course of the trial, 43 days. We have to be careful about assuming expert status. I studied for 5 years and have practiced law for over 30 years.  Granted that I may be a slow learner, but I would not have felt fully competent to write the Pistorius judgment, even if I had actually heard and seen every bit of evidence.

The Judge and her assessor were the only people legally capable of making a full assessment on all the facts, so that needs to be our starting point when we insist that she got it wrong. Yes, another Judge might have made a different decision, but it is unfair to suggest that this Judge was not doing her best. She called it as she saw it and that is simply the way that it is.

For everyone demanding that the outcome (or indeed anything else in your life) should have been different, do you have any idea how much internal peace you might find if you could just let things be? There are those who think the Judge got it right. They aren't complaining: they're lauding her wisdom.

Moaning and bitching and demanding things be different simply sows more internal and social discord. For better or for worse we have a system and we live with it. It is simply how Life is, in this particular case. If the Judge got it wrong, we need to trust that Life has a way of realigning and restoring balance.

So, time to sit back and become the jury on Shrien Dewani. As far as Oscar is concerned, let's let Life have its way.

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