Growing anger at Oscar

22 February 2013 - 02:52 By POPPY LOUW
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel addresses the Pretoria Magistrate's Court at Oscar Pistorius's bail application yesterday
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel addresses the Pretoria Magistrate's Court at Oscar Pistorius's bail application yesterday

Juan Koch, a policeman, picketed outside the Pretoria Magistrate's Court yesterday, holding a placard reading: "Hey, Oscar. Did Reeva get bail?"

Koch, a father of three daughters, said he was protesting at the bail hearing of Paralympian Oscar Pistorius because "not enough noise" was being made to raise awareness against women abuse.

"As a father, I have so much fear as to the kind of men my daughters are going to marry. People around the world already have a negative image of the men in our country. What happened with Oscar really didn't help us [men]."

Koch, of Johannesburg, said the alleged negligence by investigating officer Hilton Botha when collecting evidence at the Blade Runner's Pretoria home did not constitute enough grounds to grant him bail.

"It's no use blaming the judicial system. I'm here as an ordinary South African who has had enough of crime. I'm appealing to him to just own up to what he did."

His daughters - aged 21, 12 and eight - are swimmers and all looked up to Pistorius.

"They were all so proud of him. They saw him as a source of strength and inspiration."

Hawker Bongani Mkhatshwa, who has been selling sweets, cigarettes and newspapers outside the court building for over five years, said he had never witnessed a case as big as this.

"There are media people from all over the world coming to see a young man who shot his girlfriend. It's just very disappointing that it happened in our country," he said.

  • In a bizarre twist to the case, a woman believed to be the former wife of Pistorius's orthopaedic surgeon yesterday tried to bring an urgent application to testify on the athlete's mental state.

The state, defence and magistrate were all taken by surprise.

Despite Pretoria chief magistrate Desmond Nair trying to tell her she could not address the court, she continued to speak .

"Although not a practising attorney, I have a constitutional right to be here and to bring this urgent application. I've been trying to do so since Tuesday and I will do so now," she argued before Nair ordered her out of the courtroom, telling her to take her application to the high court. - Additional reporting by Graeme Hosken