Those close to Pistorius may have a case to answer

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to hand down judgment in the Oscar Pistorius case, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 2013. (AFP)

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to hand down judgment in the Oscar Pistorius case, who is accused of murdering his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on February 14 2013. (AFP)

We all have our crosses to bear. We have our demons. We fight them in private, in the deepest and inner recesses of our minds – we fight.

Whatever they are, we fight them.
Every now and then, when we do not have control over our demons, they come out in moments of stress, arrogance and entitlement.

I don’t know Oscar Pistorius and most of us know him as the young inspirational athlete who beat impossible odds and made us even prouder to be South African.

He’s a son of the soil who conquered and punched well above his weight; much like us as a country.

Pistorius may have fallen into the trap of “exceptionalism”. He is unquestionably an exceptional individual who saw no obstacle he could not overcome.

This obviously began at a very early age with the assistance of his incredible mother who basically taught him not to see himself as any different just because he did not have the same legs as most people.

An addiction to exceptionalism
Oscar worked hard to get to the pinnacle of athleticism. He became a hero in his community as he was growing up. He fought every day to be accepted, to fit in – and to dominate.

But, like many people who seek acceptance (while addicted to exceptionalism), he may never have felt as though he truly fitted, no matter how he may have been accepted.

People may praise you but there is often always that niggling feeling that people will eventually catch on that you have been faking it.

I wonder whether in his bid to fit in as a young man and because of his exceptionalism he did things that people allowed him to get away with?

If he did not get away with it and blame had to be taken, there was someone else to take the fall for him. The hero was never the fall guy when the antihero came out.

Maybe he always found someone to take a hit for him. He became used to it, and those who wanted to be associated with the hero were more than happy to take the fall, because who doesn’t want to be in close proximity to a hero?

A history of others taking the blame
As the years went by, he got used to getting away with things and people taking the fall for him.

We saw how this was exposed during the trial when he refused to take responsibility for anything when he was being cross-examined by state prosecutor Gerrie Nel.

He did not take responsibility for the gun that went off when he was at Tasha’s restaurant. According to Pistorius, he did not pull the trigger; it just went off on its own – even when witnesses said otherwise. A friend, however, took responsibility for the incident.

He also denied that he fired a pistol through the sunroof of a moving vehicle, even though two witnesses verified the incident.

Again, since he was so accustomed to other people taking responsibility, when he was asked about the illegal ammunition in his house, he said that his father put it in his house, despite the fact that he hadn’t spoken to his father in years – and he also didn’t know when his father put the ammunition in his safe because he was not there.

Time of reckoning is at hand
Of course, I am speculating and wondering why Pistorius behaved in the way he did.

Maybe people close to him have to think about how they contributed to him being the kind of person who can’t take responsibility.

Unfortunately for him, there is no one to take the fall for him this time. Only he will face judgment and there will be no one to shield him.

Khaya Dlanga

Khaya Dlanga

Apart from seeing gym as an oppression of the unfit majority, Khaya works in the marketing and communications industry for one of the world's largest brands. Before joining the corporate world, he was in the advertising field where he won many awards, including a Cannes Gold. He was awarded Financial Mail's New Broom award in 2009, while Jeremy Maggs's "The Annual - Advertising, Media & Marketing 2008" listed him as one of the 100 most influential people in the industry. He says if you don't like his views, he has others. Read more from Khaya Dlanga

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