Not just Oscar Pistorius on trial. Brand South Africa is also in foreign media’s crosshairs

30 May 2024, Thursday

South Africa’s horse-racing community is a tight knit bunch. Former trainer Barry Steenkamp is one of their stalwarts, a man who never quite got the breaks in an industry where luck plays a bigger role than most. He migrated to the lesser racing centre of  Port Elizabeth, made a living from his training and raised his beautiful daughter Reeva. World famous “blade runner” Oscar Pistorius came into the industry from a different route, spending big and flashily at a Yearling Sale. It’s now the stuff of legend that Steenkamp’s Reeva and the controversial athlete became lovers – and that a year ago, he shot her through a closed toilet door. As the media circus busies itself with the court process, Rob Opie reckons there’s a sense of inevitability about it all. More’s the pity that a decent family from the Eastern Cape had to become victims of the Oscar Pistorius self-destruction.  – AH    

By Robert Opie* 

The downside to Oscar’s trial is the tragic loss of life of a beautiful young woman. The courts cannot change that. The upside to the trial is that it is more about ‘the burden of truth’ for Brand South Africa, than for Brand Oscar .This makes his trial iconic in nature.

Oscar will face a prosecution team that will not stop till the truth is revealed, why? Because they will be driven by a higher purpose to restore the ‘moral compass ‘ for Brand South Africa. In a way, Oscar’s trial is a substitute for ‘The Dewani’ non – trial. For too long cases of ‘murder and assassination’ were disguised as cases of ‘car high-jacking.’ Foreigners even began to jump on the band wagon and expose loopholes that existed within South African law .You could simply get away with it for far too long! Until, it all had to end abruptly.

In addition, there will be no technical loop holes  for Oscar’s  legal team , like those that have been exercised  by so many of  South Africa’s  “leaders” – for far  too long . Too long have words like accountability , mindfulness,  consequence , probability , reasonable action ,respect for fellow citizens –  all  been  thrown out the window in a culture that breeds instant gratification , imbalance , entitlement and grandiosity.  Now Oscar’s prosecution team has an “inspired opportunity” to adjust the moral compass, and they will stop at nothing less than the truth.

It’s high noon time, and Oscar will be on centre stage.


For Oscar this means he is left with little choice, but to tell the truth .Twelve months have come and gone, and little has changed, except that Oscar has had time to digest the reality of the situation .He will never again be a  “free man”  in human spirit , unless he tells the truth .The truth will give  him the opportunity to rebuild Brand Oscar, as he has played himself into a position where his case will become iconic for the country .

Oscar transcended sport .A jarring contrast however existed from the Oscar led away by police on February 14, 2013, with his face covered in a hooded sweatshirt – to the August 2012 morning when he entered the Olympic stadium, waving to the applause of over 80000 spectators. Oscar’s life had imploded. The word grandiosity had come into play .It means believing one is untouchable and above the law. Multiple real life incidents had served as early warning bells that his psyche had shifted. His perspective on life had become unbalanced, and it had gone on too long, unchecked by any mentorship programme. It had put him firmly on the road of self sabotage. With Oscar’s life spiraling out of control, his imbalance turned to infatuation for the love in his life: Reeva Steenkamp. Infatuation is a danger word , with a capital “D”, and  substantially increases the risk of further ‘ imbalanced , inappropriate , unreasonable ‘ action –   human tragedy was  on the cards .

Oscar’s version of events is questioned by most. His version does not ring true as that of the action of a reasonable man .Most believe it was ‘a moment of madness’. Only he knows the truth , and only the truth will set him free . He needs to however be aware , that far more potent, than the laws of the country, are the universal laws of life and health. Ultimately no- one is above these laws, and ultimately ’ secrets make you sick’. Imbalance dives illness. Balance drives wellness. The emotional drain of the courts and the ongoing ‘burden of truth’ will test his resilience  and health to the ultimate. Time will tell, but in this case, there will be no letting up by an inspired and purpose driven prosecution team. That’s because, this case is far bigger than Oscar. South Africa’s “moral compass” is on trial for all to witness.  But Oscar ,like every one of us, is only human, he made a terrible mistake, and he will still be given the opportunity to make things right!  He needs to restore balance in his mind, body & spirit – by telling the truth. It’s his choice to make, and only he can make it.


Beware the individual or team driven by higher purpose – driven by meaning