Owners of struggling Gauteng small businesses, pay attention!
If the DA wins the Gauteng province in the next election, they will rent office space to small businesses in Gauteng for a R1 a year. That is a promise by the party’s Gauteng premier candidate Mmusi Maimane. This was done at the DA’s provincial manifesto launch in Johannesburg.
Small businesses should not be left struggling to pay rent, when so many government buildings in Gauteng are vacant or half empty. 55% of the land in the province is owned by government. By saying this Maimane reminded every person with a small business idea, that this is their fight too.
The banners on the stage promoted change. DA leader Helen Zille declared that Maimane was the right man to lead Gauteng as he is a man of integrity, intelligence and determination. Most of the people dressed in DA attire, responded with song and cheering.
Change is possible in Gauteng and for Gauteng small businesses
Maimane told the crowd that change was never as possible as now. He is determined to win the election and bring that change through the DA. The party will fight for quality housing and title deeds for the people of the province, as almost 700 000 people are still waiting for their own house and title deed. That after 20 years of ANC governance.
Besides housing, Maimane’s focus is on job creation and he insisted that supporters fight for policies that creates jobs. It is his opinion that the ANC government, through e-tolls, is inhibiting job opportunities. Apparently Shoprite’s e-toll bill is already R4m. To pay this they will increase food prices and leave customers poorer.
The DA will also fight against crime so that no citizen of Gauteng has to live in fear of crime. Drug lords are reportedly operating from government housing. Maimane pledged solemnly to evict drug lords from all public property.
The DA will have a drug squad, a gang unit and a domestic violence unit established in Gauteng and they will fight against government corruption by cutting luxuries for government officials.
Oscar Pistorius Trial: Evidence regarding Reeva Steenkamp
Reeva Steenkamp tried to protect her head
She was in a defensive position when she was hit by the last shots Oscar fired through the locked toilet door, according to a ballistics expert. Captain Chris Mangena told the Court whilst bending forward to demonstrate:
• The first shot struck her in her hip, standing up. It flung Steenkamp onto a magazine rack in the toilet.
• The bullets Oscar Pistorius used were designed to cause maximum damage to human tissue.
• The second shot missed her and ricocheted.
• There was a break between shot one and two.
• By then she was seated with her back to the wall.
• According to his findings, she had both hands over her head, across each other.
• She had a wound to her left hand where it was hit by the same bullet that struck her in the head.
In definite anguish and fear she did the natural thing for any person in physical danger: covered her head, but she couldn’t save her own life.
What was Oscar’s position?
Mangena said the height of the holes in the door and the trajectory of the bullets indicated that Oscar Pistorius was not wearing his prosthetic legs when he fired. Another forensics expert testified earlier that the position of the marks a cricket bat made when Oscar tried to open the door, indicated Pistorius was on his stumps when he used it.
One would expect 2 police experts to have cleared that out before the trial, or not? Confusing me, is that Oscar Pistorius’ defense lawyer, Barry Roux, challenged both testimonies.
Mangena stood his ground even when Roux displayed his usual sarcasm.
Data from the iPad
The State called Colonel Mark Sale who testified that Pistorius had visited porn and used car websites shortly before Steenkamp died. Data on the iPad 3 and an iPad 2 that was found on the scene, had the same type of content on the usage histories. A porn website was visited at 18:30 on 13 February 2013, and later a site of cars which included an Aston Martin Rapider.
Gerrie Nel will only be back in court on Monday. He is to have final witness meetings as he prepares to wrap up the state’s case. Five more witnesses will be called.
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Expert Forensic Scientist’s opinion: Oscar Pistorius case
The background of this expert:
Dr David Klatzow holds a PhD in Medical Biochemistry and stands out among our few forensic science experts. With more than twenty-eight years experience, he has appeared as witness in numerous cases, as an advisor to both plaintiffs and defendants. Some of the high profile cases were: the Helderberg crash, Guguletu 7, Piet Retief massacre and the murder of Brett Keble.
In November 2011 whilst lecturing in Durban, Klatzow said South Africa would be in deep “trouble” if forensic scientists continued to work hand in hand with the state because some police officers did not collect evidence thoroughly.
Nothing has changed yet!
In a recent radio interview, he pointed out the ‘stupid’ actions of certain officers in this investigation. Specifically the officer that picked up a gun without gloves and the scene that wasn’t cordoned off, allowing some persons entrance to take cellphone photos.
Dr. Klatzow used the following example: Barry Roux has shot many holes in the police vehicle, but has by no means stopped it in its tracks. It is still moving with enough evidence to give the state a strong case.
Mr. Roux fired some shots just for the fun of it.
Answers that Oscar Pistorius will have to supply
In the days to come, there will be the classic ‘Gunfight at dawn’ where the two gunslingers involved will be the state forensic investigators and the forensic investigators hired by Oscar. Especially regarding the trajectory of the bullets.
Questions that will be asked to Oscar Pistorius:
What was it that he heard to make him think it was a burglar.
Why did he think his life was endangered.
Why did he not speak to the intruder or fire a warning shot.
Why did he not use the panic button in his home.
From where exactly did he shoot.
If they were in bed by 10 o’clock, why is there proof that Reeva had eaten 2 hours before death.
At what pace did he fire the 4 shots.
What sounds did he hear in between the shots.
Why did he forget to check if Reeva was safe.
Why would Reeva go to the toilet at 3 in the morning with her cellphone and lock the door.
This game is not even nearly finished and the last whistle is still a long way off!
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Get to know the Judge in the Oscar Pistorius murder trial
Thokozile Matilda Masipa was born in 1947. She grew up in a small, two-bedroom house in which she shared a bedroom with her siblings. Even after her marriage to Makhutla, they lived in a home with one room that was the bedroom, bathroom, study, you name it.
“During that period, I learned to interact with various people at all levels,” she said.
She obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree specializing in Social Work and a Bachelor of Laws.
Before her legal career, Masipa worked as a social worker and as a crime reporter, who often reported on the indignities of life under apartheid. She was admitted as an advocate in 1991 and appointed as a judge in1998. Only Before her legal career, Masipa worked as a social worker and as a crime reporter, who often reported on the indignities of life under apartheid. She was admitted as an advocate in 1991 and appointed as a judge in1998. Only the second black woman to be appointed judge.
Masipa’s colleagues refers to her as respected, competent, eloquent, and reserved as well as having a “reputation for fairness and decency”. Some other comments are: “She works incredibly hard. She crosses all her t’s and dots all her i’s. She was probably the student who always got all the prizes for working the hardest.”
“She is not a dazzler, she does not shine, she’s not brilliant, but she’s steadfast and worthy,” said a senior advocate.
Judge Masipa has served as a judge for the past 16 years
On a personal level the following: Her hobbies include dancing, gardening and yoga. She seems to be a well balanced, organized and disciplined person. This is the person who presides over the Oscar Pistorius murder trial, and who is dealing with the drama and world-wide scrutiny around the case.
Her judgments that made the news
Two judgments and maximum sentences for men convicted of violence against women, is worth mentioning:
Judge Masipa sentenced the serial rapist and robber Shepherd Moyo by applying a maximum sentence of 252-years which she intended to serve as a deterrent.
She declared that the three rape victims were left shattered for life and Moyo’s lack of remorse proved that he can’t be rehabilitated. Her comments were: “The worst in my view is that he attacked and raped the victims in the sanctity of their own homes where they thought they were safe.” Reeva wasn’t in her own home, but should have been safe in the home of Oscar Pistorius. One has to wonder what Masipa sees in Pistorius’s response in court She declared that the three rape victims were left shattered for life and Moyo’s lack of remorse proved that he can’t be rehabilitated. Her comments were: “The worst in my view is that he attacked and raped the victims in the sanctity of their own homes where they thought they were safe.” Reeva wasn’t in her own home, but should have been safe in the home of Oscar Pistorius. One has to wonder what Masipa sees in Pistorius’s response in court and how he is perhaps playing her.
In 2009, Masipa declared a life sentence to a policeman, Freddy Mashamba, who shot and killed his ex-wife after an argument over their divorce settlement.
“No one is above the law. You deserve to go to jail for life because you are not a protector. You are a killer,” Masipa said.
What is her assumed verdict of Oscar Pistorius?
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After Day 8 of the Oscar Pistorius Trial, a few very important questions and vital issues come to mind and tend to linger. These issues include Oscar’s cricket bat and whether he hit the bathroom door with or without wearing his prosthetic legs. An accurate replica (allegedly the original) of the door was brought into court for a physical demonstration regarding the marks on the original door in an attempt to clarify the situation concerning discrepancies pertaining to the testimony of Pistorius and forensic evidence.
Oscar stated in his affidavit that he hit the door with his artificial legs on. Prosecution (Gerrie Nel), states that detail (forensic evidence) as regards the marks on the door is consistent with somebody hitting the door at a lower height – they therefore want to prove that Oscar’s version of the events is not entirely truthful. The mission of Oscar’s defense is to prove that it is/was not possible for him to hit the door hard enough to damage it with a bat when he was not wearing his prosthetic legs.
Keep in mind that Pistorius was in peak physical condition at the time when Reeva Steenkamp was tragically killed in the early morning hours of Valentine’s Day 2013. As all professional athletes, Oscar has strong, finely tuned and developed abdominal, gluteus maximus (buttocks) and thigh muscles. When walking without his prosthetic legs, these muscle groups in particular, should aid him in keeping his balance. It may therefore be safe to assume that Oscar would be better equipped to balance himself on his stumps than for instance, a middle-aged, mildly overweight man trying to balance himself for the first time on his knees with his feet lifted up.
Barry Roux, the lawyer for the defense, requested Lieutenant Colonel Johannes Vermeulen, a senior officer at the forensic science laboratory, to stand on his knees and to hit the door with the famed cricket bat. Vermeulen complied, whereafter Roux asked Vermeulen to lift his feet. Vermeulen told the court that he had difficulty in keeping his balance. Pistorius kept his head down during the entire procedure and appeared to be busy making notes.
Still, whatever the circumstances – Oscar may not not have experienced the same difficulty as Vermeulen under similar circumstances. He may have had it easier. Another vitally important point to consider is that Pistorius has had his entire life to master balancing and walking on his stumps.
Vermeulen is clearly not in the same toned physical condition as Oscar Pistorius. However, Lt Col Vermeulen has more than 29 years experience regarding scientific analysis, having completed about 1400 forensic investigations in this period of time. He handled his testimony well and did not appear too frazzled by Barry Roux, or Blerry Rude, as the defense lawyer is now nicknamed across the internet.
Oscar Pistorius Affidavit
Another confusing issue is the fact that Pistorius stated in his affidavit that: “I woke up, went onto the balcony to bring the fan in and closed the sliding doors, the blinds and curtains.”
Would all the noise in the quiet of night not have awoken Reeva and caused her to say something or ask him what he was doing? The tall fan should have made a noise on the balcony tiles as he dragged it in. If he did not drag the fan, but carried it – he clearly has no problem with balancing on his stumps.
At that stage, before the curtains were closed, it would not have been pitch dark inside the room and he could have noticed that Reeva was not in the bed, couldn’t he?
Pistorius further states: “I grabbed my 9mm pistol from underneath my bed. On my way to the bathroom I screamed words to the effect for him/them to get out of my house and for Reeva to phone the police. It was pitch dark in the bedroom and I thought Reeva was in bed.”
Why did he not listen for her reply? Why did he not listen for any sound from her? If he was genuinely concerned for her safety, would he not first have woken her and told her to leave the room?
Fact to ponder 1:
If he screamed before he fired the shots, would Reeva not have screamed herself, or would she not at least have made a sound?
Fact to ponder 2:
Oscar also states in his affidavit: “I went back into the bedroom and grabbed my cricket bat to bash open the toilet door. A panel or panels broke off and I found the key on the floor and unlocked and opened the door.”
Why did Reeva lock the toilet door from the inside? Was she scared? Did she want to punish Oscar after a fight? Who on earth locks the toilet door in the middle of the night – especially if your partner is fast asleep?
Fact to ponder 3:
Is it just me, but why was the cricket bat in the bedroom? Why wasn’t it kept with his other sporting paraphernalia, memorabilia and stuff?
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What the people in Oscar’s life revealed about his character
Just a while before that tragic evening when Oscar’s life changed forever, he spoke to Mr. Bill Schroder, former head teacher at Pretoria Boys High School which Pistorius attended. Schroder wonders how the pressure Oscar was under all the time, affected his mind and reported that Oscar said on occasion it would be so nice just to be ordinary.
Pistorius experienced huge trauma at age 15, when his mother died. Oscar, his older brother, Carl, and younger sister, Aimee, were much closer to their mom than their dad, according to Schroder. To lose their mother in an already broken home, must have been hell to cope with. It was a critical episode of his childhood and Pistorius battled to come to terms.
Did he ever process it or is he still carrying emotional scars and the fear of losing the woman in his life? Would Oscar have been a different man if he had had a closer bond with his father to set the example? Or is it a case of like father like son, as far as relationships with women are concerned, except that Oscar would rather shoot than separate?
Schroder is of the opinion that the spotlight may have been too bright for Oscar. Fame brings power and power corrupts. Did Oscar Pistorius want ultimate power?
The materialistic Oscar
Pistorius loves material possessions, such as expensive cars, luxurious homes, race horses, exotic animals and trendy clothes. Was a girlfriend or more specifically, Reeva Steenkamp, seen as one of his possessions?
Uncle Arnold Pistorius reportedly said that Reeva and Oscar had plans together. Did Reeva know about those plans? Arnold also implied that Oscar was happier in his private life than he had been for a long time. So, before Reeva, was he unhappy for a long time?
Dr. Versveld, his orthopedic surgeon said he warned Oscar to cut down on his activities. He did everything that everyone else did. Was that a case of being driven to impress or trying to keep up with the latest beat? What is/was chasing Oscar Pistorius?
Relations with the opposite sex
Trish Taylor, mother of Samantha Taylor, an ex girlfriend of Oscar is glad that her daughter was not in his clutches any more. Could it be that Pistorius held her captive in some way and what did he do to Sammy? Reportedly, Sammy knew all about Oscar’s dark side and told a newspaper that he wasn’t the way people thought of him. What kind of person is he?
Reeva Steenkamp was supposed to give a speech to schoolchildren on the day she died at the hand of her lover, about an abusive family relationship she experienced.
Was it abuse that ended her life?
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We are all familiar with the man on the track, geared and psyched up before a race, the Paralympic athlete also known as Blade Runner. Viewers from across the world watched as Oscar won the 400m gold during the 2012 Paralympic Games in London, UK and everybody shared in his elation.
An icon on a pedestal
Oscar Pistorius may have become an icon on a pedestal in South Africa, being the personification of overcoming adversity and rising above personal limits and adverse circumstances. Oscar became a household name and he seemed to be the golden boy of South Africa, doing no wrong. But, what is Oscar up to in his free time, when he is not in the public eye and who is he really?
“We have no idea who Oscar Pistorius is except for that brief time that he is on the track in front of us.” As quoted from: Christine Brennan, sports columnist and commentator for ABC News).
Does that not apply to all of us? We choose what we want to make public and what not.
Except, most of us do not shoot our lovers, lie about gun misdemeanors and shoot guns randomly through the sunroof of a car … We also mostly do not ask our friends to take the blame for our actions.
Living the fast life
Oscar loves fast cars, beautiful girls, dirt bikes, guns, pet tigers and the best money can buy. He invested in race horses and wanted to buy a McLaren supercar. According to abcNEWS, Michael Sokolove, a sports writer for the New York Times and friend of Oscar, said the following after they spent some time together during 2011: “We were driving 150 miles an hour. There was a point that it was raining. We were on some state’s turnpike, and he’s weaving in between cars and tailgating them. And just really insane driving. He saw it as sport. But I feared he would hurt himself.“
Another time, Oscar wiped out on his dirt bike, losing one of his artificial legs in the process. He just joked about the incident afterwards. During 2009, Pistorius raced a speedboat and hit a submerged pier on the Vaal River, injuring himself seriously.
Apparently, a substantial amount of empty liquor bottles were found in the boat on recovery. Nothing was said about the incident and his injuries were marginalized.
Is Oscar Pistorius trigger-happy?
His fascination with guns has come to light during the broadcast of The Oscar Trial. The incident at Tacha’s restaurant where he (accidentally) fired a shot and then asked his friend to cover for him, does not reflect on Pistorius in a good way. Another incident, where he shot a gun through the sunroof of a car just proves that he is not a responsible fire-arm owner.
These are the incidents that came to light. Are there more?
Who exactly is Oscar Pistorius?
This question is on everybody’s mind and as the layers of the life of Oscar Pistorius unfold, we are beginning to see a very different picture …
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