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> South Africa, Oscar Pistorius Trial!
Dave Grieve
post 25th Mar 2014, 02:44pm
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Prosecution closed it's case against Pistorious, and why I want anybody who uses a gun hammered

By coincidence a woman who used to work in the same company as me was washing her car with her sixteen year old daughter, when they finished the daughter asked her mother to let her drive the car as she was going for her learners license shortly and wanted the practice.
They reached the ‘T’ junction that my house stood on and when stopping at the Stop sign, two scum appeared at the drivers door, one of them holding a gun, the youngster panicked and tried to drive away but in her panic accelerated forwards and drove into and through my driveway gates, running after them the scum with the gun tried to pull the youngster out of the car and instead of allowing it to happen she instinctively pulled back so with this the gunman shot her in the chest and dragged her out of the car, leaving her lying on my driveway.
While this was happening the other scum had dragged the mother out of the other door jumped in and over to the steering wheel, the gunman jumped into the back seat and they reversed out and away, problem was in their rush to get away they reversed over the youngster who was still alive.

When I came home about two hours later I drove around the corner to see police cars and vans surrounding my driveway with barrier tape blocking off the driveway, walking past at least six so called policemen I ducked under the tape and stood talking to my wife at the gate, who explained to me what had happened all this time not one cop came to me and asked me what I was doing disturbing a crime scene or even asking me who I was or what I was doing there.

It turned out that my daughter, grandson and her boyfriend had been standing at our front door and had seen everything, when it happened my daughter tried to run up to the gate to help and luckily for us and her, the boyfriend pushed everybody inside and locked the door.

Eventually one of the ‘guardians' of law and order decided to ask me who I was and when I told him it was my house ordered me to get to the other side of the gate.

The shooting happened at about two on a Sunday afternoon and by eleven that night the cops got a tip off and raided a house in the local black township where the car had been spotted, they managed to arrest the driver but the gunman jumped out of a window and escaped.

For about four months we never heard anymore about the killing, no detective came to our door to take any kind of statement, nobody anywhere was questioned by police as to what we they had seen, in the meantime the driver was out on bail and looking as if the case against him would be dropped, this was when the parents called in their own private detective who came to us asking questions, it turned out there were three witnesses who had seen the shooting with my daughter having the best view.
Thanks to the parents the scum went to trial and was given 42 years for murder as it turned out the bullet wound would not have been fatal but the car reversing over the youngster was what actually killed her.

Because the shooter was still on the loose and my daughter was the main eyewitness we decided to send her to London to live with her cousin for a while, for a while became two years and she only came back when the prosecution stuffed up the case against the shooter who had been finally caught so badly, that the judge dismissed the case against him
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carmella
post 25th Mar 2014, 03:23pm
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Dave, Thank you for the reply and for outlining the differences. I'm so sorry to have heard about your daughter though.

The reason I'm so interested, is that I tend to follow trials a lot when they are live streamed. I have a wide knowledge of the law, principally Scots Law and European Law, and getting more than just a little knowledgeable on US Law. I still attend and write up trials whenever I can do so, here in Scotland - these are always High Court Trials.

Stemming from my writing and covering trials here in Scotland, from 1992 until just a couple of years ago, since when I have taken some time off writing, but still takes notes. As these will in future be written up in full. I will follow trials on my computer which are live streamed - hence my interest in the Oscar Pistorius case initially.

This is just to explain a little about that background and why I'm interested.

I too have found the trial quite boring for the most part - but being bored or otherwise is not what it's about, a girl lost her life, and a man is on trial for murdering her. I do find it somewhat annoying for a trial which is known to be followed internationally, that some of the witnesses still insist in using interpreters to translate evidence from Afrikaans to English. It is their right of course, but in this particular trial, I think it's unnecessary. Others agree with me.

Tomorrow we should see him give his side of the story, as he should be the Defense's first witness, I think the Cross will be the crux of the case, and be very interesting to watch. I don't think the Prosecutor has made a strong case to be honest.

Zascot
Nice to see you enter the discussion. I was hoping you would enter, as I was keen, since you are the only two members of the GG, whom I know with certainty live in Jo'Berg, and therefore I could get the 'feel' from locals as to how Pistorus's story came across to them, and knowing the gun laws in South Africa, which I know are stringent, have come out in this story. In the witness box, several people spoke of the examination of Pistorius and to his ultimate eligibility to have firearms.

I think OP is a bit of a hot head, I think he was jealous, and fearful for his international as well as his national reputation, hence we have the story of that night, as he portrayed it. In the initial course of this trial I found the police witnesses lacking in their credibility, and we now know that they did not protect evidence the way they should have.

I listened to an interview with Robert Shapiro who was OJ's lawyer - he was asked if OP hired him as his lawyer what would his advice be, he said "say nothing, keep your mouth shut - that's why you have a lawyer" of course OP did the opposite. [fascinating interview incidentally.]

I'll return to this, meantime I appreciate and thank both of you for replying to me.

Dave - this story you've told is just horrendous, what a terrible thing to happen. I know SA Police have come in for a lot of criticism, not just recently but for a long time.

I would certainly have no confidence in them if I lived there - this is now your country, as presumably you have lived there for a long time so from that point of view I can understand why you woouldn't want to leave - you have built a life there. What I don't understand is why anyone would want to live like that, or is better than I think it is - I genuinely want to know what keeps people in a country like that, which has one of the highest crime rates in the world, something like 43 serious crimes a day. I genuinely don't understand it - yet as I've said before, it's such a beautiful country, I remember when I used to visit my cousin John in Jo'berg.

As for Shrien Dewani, well there will be an interesting case, and I think even before it starts, that I shall hold my counsel on this one, I do have opinions but prefer to see the evidence for the case presented by the Prosecution.

Thank you both for the reply.


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wellfield
post 25th Mar 2014, 07:22pm
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Interesting thread.....and while I'm at it,as I mentioned to my wife recently that the majority of folks on this site are very knowledgeful on recent and past events in this big world not to mention wit and street smarts.
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carmella
post 25th Mar 2014, 08:55pm
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Hi Wellie - nice to see you.

I've written on a lot of the older major trials - it started with an interest in the 19th and early 20th century trials. I've written about the last man and woman to be hanged for murder in Scotland - that was mid 90s, and various others, since, of course, I had to do so while I was still working in Air Traffic Control, which meant I was almost working round the clock, and was very tired. I always did my own research and never paid anyone to do it for me - my thinking was that I got the information I wanted, and could prove - that way no-one could tell me my written word was wrong.

I just saw the Oscar Piastorius case and was interested in it. I'm also interested in the next case from South Africa, but don't know if it will be streamed, there was a lot of interest here in the UK about this Dewali case.


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Dave Grieve
post 26th Mar 2014, 06:25am
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The youngster being killed was not the only shooting close to home as the same daughter who had witnessed that crime had a boyfriend a few years after she came back who after they had broken up was ,was shot and killed outside his Mum and Dads house when he took the brand new car that he had taken delivery of that day to show it to his parents.

Another friend of mine who's daughter'e boyfriend was shot when his car was hijacked but not killed is today so severely handicapped by the wounds he received that he only walks with help from the family and speech is a struggle for him.
He was in intensive care for nearly two months
They are married today and stayed here for over ten years after the shooting until I suspect the medical bills have become to much for them and they went to live in Glasgow last year, she was born in Maryhill while he is English but with most of his family still in SA.

All, of those shootings took place at the height of the 'siege' against white people that I spoke of before, the countries in a much better place now, and really you have to think of the size of the country compared to the UK which would fit into a corner of SA.

Dewani is going to be interesting and I suspect the rush to get approval for the Pistorious trial was with one eye on the Dewani case.
I ask myself why fight for over three years to avoid extradition and constantly issue statements that as soon as your health is better you want to go back to SA to prove your innocence? why would three people convicted in the murder of your wife all finger you as the the paymaster?

Something else that might interest you has just broken this morning in that there is an enquiry into the 'Marikana' shootings last year at one of the Platinum mines outside Joburg, one of the police commanders stated that he was ordered by the countries head of police to lie to the commision in order to put the police into a better light he also states that the Minister of Justice was at the same meeting
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zascot
post 26th Mar 2014, 06:42am
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Hi Carmella, I have been in SA from 71 and I can honestly say that I have never experienced problems and love it here. I come back to UK once a year on business and know that I could not live there. As far as the police standards are concerned if you pay peanuts you get monkeys and that is a fact. Public prosecuters are also employed by the government and defence lawyers/barristers are private and you pay for what you get, I believe Barry Roux is the second highest paid in the country in his proffession. I don`t get on the boards often as I spend a lot of time away but I am also interested in this case. Nice to hear the thoughts of people who do not live here. The Devani case will be interesting as three people are already in jail, the hit man, the taxi driver and an accomplice so he will need a good defence. I used to own and carry a gun when I did a lot of night driving but the laws are so strict now that I gave up my licence and had my gun destroyed, fortunatey I only had to fire it on the shooting range.


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carmella
post 26th Mar 2014, 10:49am
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Dave
I don't know how a family ever recover from some of the things you've mentioned of course, that kind of fear and murders are not confined as we know to South Africa, in general terms I just don't know how parents and the wider families ever get over it. I know time is a great healer, but it's always there, the grief is something I think most people would have no idea of, unless it had happened to them, or within their own families. A sudden death, or a long term illness, is one thing entirely, but to have a loved one taken through murder must be horrendous.

On some of the cases I've witnessed directly in court, it never ceases to amaze me, the evil people do to each other.

The 'siege' era you talked about fits in with my cousin's decision to leave SA. He went to live and work there in 1972 and I recall vividly how heart broken I was because he was my favourite cousin and we were very close. His first child had been born here, his next child born 1973 of course by then was born in South Africa as were the others. I remember him telling me he had four dogs, roaming around the house. Although like me, he always had pet dogs and loved them to bits, he explained to me that at that time, they were for protection and were not really pets as we'd known them. I remember being totally amazed that he would leave here for a life like that - so dissimilar to what he left behind. My family do not come from Glasgow, I had an aunt there, but we have always lived in Ayrshire, crime was very low in comparison to life elsewhere, his decision amazed me.

I know my cousin did it for the money. Johnnie was always a hard worker, he'd work overtime without a break at SAL in Prestwick where he served his time as a toolmaker, a job which subsequently took him not just to various parts of SA, but also to Canada, back in the UK and then over to California. With Johnnie it was always about the life he could have with the money he earned, which was a lot more than he earned at SAL although having a trade you always got better money than not having a trade. It was a terrible shock to him when he had to give up work due to his having a brain tumour, and to this day he is lucky to be alive, but quite disabled in terms of walking etc. although he realizes he is lucky to be here. For him now aged 66 and probably would have been retired anyway, when he was recovering from the surgery to his brain, he realized he'd never work again - that was hard for him.

I spoke to him recently, and he confided in me that if things had turned out differently, years later, he would have returned to South Africa. I've gone on longer than I thought I would in this reply - bear with me, it's almost finished. I must admit, having lived through the 60s, 70s and 80s particularly, apart from the latter half of the 60s when I was abroad. Scotland is not the same place it was way back then, I do in fact believe it is a lot better. The only thing I dislike is the changes to our shopping areas, not the malls, but the streets, they all look the same.

The Marikana massacre, has been talked about over here also. I saw a documentary about it, it seemed obvious to me that it was well-named as a massacre, most of the men were walking away. And of course according to news reports now, the cracks in the police version are beginning to show. I will be interested in watching the case unfold, I have no idea, however, if this will be streamed, which would be my preference.

I wondered if the Minister of Justice would be called to court, makes you think, I reckon this is probably the most high profile case for the SA public, apart from the Oscar Pistorius case.

As for Mr. Dewani, I agree with you, why would these men have pointed the finger at him if this was not so.
Since the death of his wife, he has repeatedly refused to go to SA, instead looking draw and very ill, at one time we were told that he was deemed unfit to attend a trial or be extradited. In fact, when you saw images or video of him in public, his look reminded me of a very famous N.Y. Mafia Godfather who faigned senility, by dressing and acting very strangely - in fact he was as fit and sane as the rest of us - that's the feeling I get from Dwani of course, I could be wrong. I'd like to see and hear the evidence myself.

Zascot

I know you spend a lot of time away, and you and I have passed messages before in our older pre and post 2003 lives. I remember you helped me out too when my uncle died at the end of 2001, and I was having to get rid of his MGB GT which I subsequently did.

I see you every once in a while on the boards, and there have been times when I've not been on much at all, as simply too busy elsewhere.

I'm glad of your input as well.

I admit now, that I am getting more familiar with the Dutch/SA Legal System and enjoying it.

Dave is also correct when he says that we really can't compare like for like here, for obvious reasons, because SA is a huge country, so it just cannot be compared to Scotland or for that matter the entire UK.
I often say this too when Britain is compared to the USA, well I lived in just one state of the USA in the late 60s - Dallas Texas, and you could fit the UK into that state 3 times over, and into the entire USA 33 times. I never forgot that from school.

Well I guess we will have more to say on these cases again, and thanks for the input from all of you.


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Dave Grieve
post 26th Mar 2014, 11:56am
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Next time you look at Dewani have a good look at the hair and designer stubble, it may not be as well maintained as it was when he was living at home but I know when I am feeling down never mind depressed the last thing I worry about is how I look.
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carmella
post 26th Mar 2014, 02:06pm
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I think it's a human quality Dave, I do the same thing when I feel awful, I generally look the part LoL - like these days, I gave up the cigarettes on 15th March 2013 put on 35lbs don't know what that is in kilos but let me tell you, I look awful, and I feel awful, but slowly I'll lose it, and get back to normal.


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Dave Grieve
post 26th Mar 2014, 02:20pm
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QUOTE (carmella @ 26th Mar 2014, 04:23pm) *
I think it's a human quality Dave, I do the same thing when I feel awful, I generally look the part LoL - like these days, I gave up the cigarettes on 15th March 2013 put on 35lbs don't know what that is in kilos but let me tell you, I look awful, and I feel awful, but slowly I'll lose it, and get back to normal.


Sorry Carmella didn't explain myself properly, all the time he lived at home and was going to court in England fighting extradition on the grounds of mental ? whatever he always looked as if he had just come from a hairdresser, that's what I mean when I say if he was as depressed and suicidal as he was making out there's no way he would worry about his appearance.

Anyway most of the people I have spoken to here about the case cant wait for him to get back and give us his story, the majority have him guilty already.
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carmella
post 26th Mar 2014, 06:51pm
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The pictures I've seen of Dewani are the so-called depressed ones;, in fact he even sat down on the pavement at one point, and I remember thinking at the time to myself 'that's an act'. See what I mean here.




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wellfield
post 26th Mar 2014, 08:17pm
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QUOTE (carmella @ 25th Mar 2014, 02:12pm) *
Hi Wellie - nice to see you.

I've written on a lot of the older major trials - it started with an interest in the 19th and early 20th century trials. I've written about the last man and woman to be hanged for murder in Scotland - that was mid 90s, and various others, since, of course, I had to do so while I was still working in Air Traffic Control, which meant I was almost working round the clock, and was very tired. I always did my own research and never paid anyone to do it for me - my thinking was that I got the information I wanted, and could prove - that way no-one could tell me my written word was wrong.

I just saw the Oscar Piastorius case and was interested in it. I'm also interested in the next case from South Africa, but don't know if it will be streamed, there was a lot of interest here in the UK about this Dewali case.

Without going too off thread and the fact that you mentioned hangings in Scotland,I had a pal that I used to hang around with in the 50's who was,I think one of last to be hanged for a stabbing murder,Tony Smith,he was from Blackhill,are you familiar with this case?
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Dylan
post 26th Mar 2014, 08:25pm
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It was not Tony who was hanged.

It was his brother, I think " James " !


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carmella
post 26th Mar 2014, 08:56pm
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QUOTE (wellfield @ 26th Mar 2014, 08:34pm) *
Without going too off thread and the fact that you mentioned hangings in Scotland,I had a pal that I used to hang around with in the 50's who was,I think one of last to be hanged for a stabbing murder,Tony Smith,he was from Blackhill,are you familiar with this case?

Hi Campbell yes I'm very familiar with this case , and all the cases. You should see my filing cabinets upstairs in my office. I have all the case notes and official records from Register House and The High Court of Justiciary.


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Dylan
post 26th Mar 2014, 09:35pm
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Well then Carmella , can you confirm that it was not Tony who was hanged. ?


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