Breivik evidence leaves victims cold

Propped up outside Oslo’s central court on Tuesday, Eivind Thoresen reflected on all that he had heard in Anders Behring Breivik’s evidence. “It’s really hard to explain, but I feel really empty inside,” said the 26-year-old.

Almost nine months ago, Breivik blew Thoresen up when he was passing through Einar Gerhardsen’s Square, just a few minutes’ walk from the courtroom. Not that Thoresen could walk there now. Ever since the moment Breivik detonated the bomb in Oslo’s government district last July, Thoresen had to rely on crutches. He has just gone through his fifth operation after doctors found another metal splinter in his leg from the van Breivik had packed with explosives.

This week, Thoresen was in court when prosecutors showed harrowing CCTV footage that showed him literally being knocked off his feet.

“It’s really hard to see yourself getting blown away,” he said.

Thoresen said he was no closer to understanding Breivik’s motives. He was just an ordinary Norwegian in the wrong place at the wrong time. “He had a target, a political target. I was not one of them,” he said.

Families were keen to stress that the man who killed their loved ones had no legitimate mandate for what he did.

“I think it’s important to underline that we don’t view Breivik as a politician in this matter. He is a mass murderer,” said Trond Henry Blattmann, whose 17-year-old son, Torjus, was killed on Utoya.

Tore Sinding Bekkedal (26), who survived the Utoya attacks physically unscathed, said he appreciated the opportunity to get “a more detailed image of the defendant”. It was right to let Breivik read out his prepared statement, he said.
“Of course, it was incredibly boring and silly, but it is a major part of building up an image of his political views and his personality and so on and so forth,” Bekkedal said.

“It was predictable nonsense, the kind of stuff that you see all the time [in comment online]. I was almost glad to be bored at some points, because it is a sign that the normal court procedure is going on.” —

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


Where is the deputy president?

David Mabuza is hard at work — it’s just not taking place in the public eye. The rumblings and discussion in the ANC are about factions in the ruling party, succession and ousting him

Zuma turns on judiciary as trial nears

Former president says pre-trial correspondence is part of another plot

SANDF inquiry clears soldiers of the death of Collins Khosa

The board of inquiry also found that it was Khosa and his brother-in-law Thabiso Muvhango who caused the altercation with the defence force members

Lockdown relief scheme payouts to employees tops R14-billion

Now employers and employees can apply to the Unemployment Insurance Fund for relief scheme payments

Press Releases

Covid-19 and Back to School Webinar

If our educators can take care of themselves, they can take care of the children they teach

5G technology is the future

Besides a healthcare problem Covid-19 is also a data issue and 5G technology, with its lightning speed, can help to curb its spread

JTI off to court for tobacco ban: Government not listening to industry or consumers

The tobacco ban places 109 000 jobs and 179 000 wholesalers and retailers at risk — including the livelihood of emerging farmers

Holistic Financial Planning for Professionals Webinar

Our lives are constantly in flux, so it makes sense that your financial planning must be reviewed frequently — preferably on an annual basis

Undeterred by Covid-19 pandemic, China and Africa hold hands, building a community of a shared future for mankind

It is clear that building a community with a shared future for all mankind has become a more pressing task than ever before

Wills, Estate Administration and Succession Planning Webinar

Capital Legacy has had no slowdown in lockdown regarding turnaround with clients, in storing or retrieving wills and in answering their questions

Call for Expression of Interest: Training supply and needs assessment to support the energy transition in South Africa

GIZ invites eligible and professional companies with local presence in South Africa to participate in this tender to support the energy transition

Obituary: Mohammed Tikly

His legacy will live on in the vision he shared for a brighter more socially just future, in which racism and discrimination are things of the past

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday