Encore: I put it to you…

Encore: I put it to you…

Okay, so two weeks (I think) into the Oscar Pistorius trial and with your permission, like most people, I too want to add my two cents. And, with permission, I want to keep my tongue firmly in my cheek as I make my observations. I was away for most of the weekend and for last Monday and Tuesday, so my recollection is unfortunately of that that I had seen prior to those dates. So, forgive the references if they are yesterday’s news. For those glued to channel 199 on DStv, apologies as well.

In fact, scrap that. No apologies because since the beginning of the trial everything has been so serious and everyone has been tip-toeing around what they may and may not say. Some skirt because the man wears prosthetic legs. Really? If (and I mean IF) he committed premeditated murder on that fateful night then prosthetic or not, he is a murderer and should get what’s coming to him.

Already, there are jokes doing the rounds – obviously from those who do not give the proverbial rat’s @ss about who the accused is or what kind of legs he has. The gag says that if indeed he screams like a girl, he should wait until he is in jail, then he will know what it is like to scream like a girl. Don’t shoot the messenger, please. For starters, I am not in a bathroom right now, and even though I am retelling someone else’s moronic joke, I am certainly not a burglar!

But seriously folks, can anyone endure much more of the defense attorney’s voice and accent? And what about the interpreter on the testimony given by Michelle (is it Michelle) Burger? That day I realized what a joke we can often be to the rest of the world. The interpreter wasn’t able to “interpret” or translate certain words or phrases, then the witness needed to do it for her. Where do they get these people? And she (the interpreter) also had that horrible grating accent, with tons of concord errors – her subjects and verbs often didn’t agree in number. “The witness weren’t there, m’lady”. That type of thing.

All I could think of during that part of the trial was: this is so different to the movies. Courtroom dramas like ‘A Few Good Men’ with Tom Cruise and (a then beautiful to look at) Demi Moore and films like ‘Philadelphia’ with Denzel Washington and Tom Hanks sensationalize the action in a courtroom to such an extent that one would consider changing one’s career path to that of a lawyer’s. It is exciting and hard hitting, edge-of-your-seat-type stuff.

And here we have to listen to the droning of “I put it to you…”, of people clutching at straws, and of people often too intimidated to remember what happened so long ago. And I know a man’s life is stake and I know the seriousness of the matter – that a woman’s life had been taken; and, not just any woman – a young, white pretty woman. And what does that mean? I don’t know – you draw your own conclusions. And I know we learn about the justice system and, and…but dear lord it is unbearable when those accents and those boring souls hit one’s ears and eyes. Is it just me or is the defense attorney one of the most irritating and boring personas to ever hit a television screen?

And of course then there is the prosecutor – a far more palatable personality, probably because he doesn’t have as much screen time. And I swear if I were in that courtroom being cross examined by someone who so irritating I might have been held in contempt for what I would have said to him. How can any of these people remember exact moments and sequences of events of an incident they were indirectly involved in over a year ago? I hardly remember what I had for breakfast this morning.

I am not sure about this fact, but what seems to be a very one-sided affair, the prosecution must have a watertight case, and all the defense needs to do is to prove reasonable doubt. I don’t know much about justice systems, and I am sure it is like that globally, but that sounds a little unfair, m’lady.
And to crown it all it didn’t help that the Oscars (The Academy Awards Ceremony) was on during the first week of the trial. This opened more spaces for gags like: “And the Oscar goes to…jail!” Don’t shoot, please…like I said before, I am merely the messenger.

Email: rafiek@mweb.co.za