For months world’s attention was riveted on South African amputee athlete, Oscar Pistorius, but for the wrong reasons. The focus had shifted from his superlative performance on the track, for which he was nicknamed “the blade runner” to the courtroom, where he stood trial for murdering his model girlfriend, Steve Steenkamp. The 18 months trial, today, ended in a no-guilty verdict for Pistorius, ending the probability of spending 25 years behind bars if found guilty.
He has pleaded not guilty to all the charges he faces, including two counts of shooting a firearm in public and the illegal possession of ammunition.
Judge Thokosile Masipa said state prosecutors failed to prove “beyond reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty of premeditated murder. There are just not enough facts to support such a finding.” Masipa clarified Pistorius action was not intentioned to kill Steenkamp because he (Pistorius) “did not subjectively foresee this as a possibility that he would kill the person behind the door, let alone the deceased as he thought she was in the bedroom.”
The judge described Pistorius as a “very poor witness”, evasive in his testimony and “not candid.” Masipa said the testimonies of witnesses that Pistorius and Steenkamp had a row and was the motive for the former’s action was “contradictory.”
Pistorius killed Steenkamp on 14 February, 2013, after which he claimed he thought she was an intruder.