Oscar Pistorius is in a South African prison awaiting trial for the suspected murder of his girlfriend, model Reeva Steenkamp. According to reports, the 29-year-old model was shot four times, including once in the head through an upstairs bathroom door at the Olympian’s swanky upscale home in a gated community in Pretoria.

The bullet-riddled bathroom door is believed to have been removed by police as evidence in the case. Now, there are those who are sympathetic towards the man, who created history in the summer of 2012 when he became the first disabled athlete to compete with able-bodied athletes at the Olympic Games in London. They say it is not possible for him to commit murder; there must be a reasonable explanation for what happened.

It’s almost as if people can’t come to grips with the fact that a man without legs can be a murderer or is incapable of evil thoughts. I don’t know Oscar Pistorius and I am not here to judge him, but while people celebrated him I saw a selfish man who had a great sense of entitlement. I never believed that he should have been allowed to compete at the Olympics because I believe the high-tech blades he used gave him an advantage against able-bodied athletes. Much of the world disagrees with me, and they have their reasons why but let’s look at the logic of it all. Would the IOC allow an able bodied man to compete against paraplegics at the Paralympics?

The other thing is that able-bodied athletes suffer lactic build up in the calves during competition which the South African does not have to endure and that gives him an advantage, so to my mind, when Pistorius competed at the Olympics last summer, he was denying a legitimate, able-bodied competitor a place at the Games. What makes it even worse was that he was then allowed to compete at the Paralympics just a few weeks later. How can he be allowed the best of both worlds when no one else is?

But at the Paralympics later that summer Pistorius, a five-time gold medalist – substantiated the claim by people like me, who believed that he competes with a distinct advantage over able-bodied runners. When he lost the 200-metre finals to Alan Oliveira, Pistorius complained about the length of the Brazilian’s blades in proportion to the length of his rival’s body, a claim that was eventually thrown out by the authorities.

For years the athlete fought for his ability to participate in able-bodied games. Pistorius, who had both legs amputated below the knees at the age of 11 months, became the first Paralympian to win an able-bodied World Championship medal in Daegu, South Korea when he helped South Africa take silver in the 4×400 metres relay.

In a subsequent interview with the BBC’s Rob Bonnett, Pistorius was asked if his participation in able-bodied major championships might be viewed by South African authorities and the International Association of Athletics Federations as “an inconvenient embarrassment”, given they were forced to allow him to take part in able-bodied events by a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling three years earlier.

“Some people regard you, no doubt, as an inspiration to Paralympic athletes, no question about that,” Bonnett asked. “But it might also be said that you’re an inconvenient embarrassment to the South African authorities and the IAAF because, effectively, you’re taking them into uncharted ethical waters here. What’s your reaction to that?”

In response Pistorius stormed out of the interview.

It was a fair question but instead of responding he lost his temper and ended the interview. It’s like he was saying how dare him ask me that. Once again, that sense of entitlement.

The evidence against him is troubling. Steenkamp was shot four times through a bathroom door. If the athletes who is also said to be a marksman heard a noise inside the bathroom, did he shout to ask who was in there given that his girlfriend was in the house and he needed to ensure that she was not the person in the bathroom?

The reports about the bloody cricket bat that was also found inside the house also raises serious questions, especially if the reports about Steenkamp’s skull being crushed are true. Then when you add the reports of domestic issues and reported eyewitness accounts that suggests that the couple had been involved in a dispute earlier on the evening of the fateful night, one has to wonder how the South African blade runner is going to explain away the circumstances under which his girlfriend was shot four times in the head and upper torso on Valentine’s Day.

Yes, everyone is innocent until proven guilty but don’t be fooled into believing that a man who is disabled is incapable of committing heinous crimes. Consider this; Pistorius is a man who does not see himself as being disabled. On that basis, neither should you.

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  1. A says:

    Like this analysis. Best I’ve seen worldwide.

  2. says:

    Looks like he got pistorius at his lover.

    If found guilty he will surely appeal

  3. Jakan says:

    Time will tell all

  4. Norman says:

    Great piece, Leighton. I have been in two minds about Pistorious and his culpability in this affair and I think, as someone else has noted, that this is the best analysis yet that I have come across. I think you make a valid, fair, entirely plausible argument.

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4 comments so far
levyl Posted by: levyl February 17, 2013 at 4:57 pm