South Africa: Alas, Poor Oscar, We Knew You Once


A new series presents the Pistorius trial as the tragedy of a nice white boy. Rebecca Davis holds back the tears.

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

Is there anything left to say about Oscar Pistorius and the night on which he took the life of Reeva Steenkamp? The British makers of an exceedingly long new four-part documentary series currently airing on DStv appear to think so. Those of us who lived through the minute-by-minute coverage -- or, for our sins, produced that coverage -- of South Africa's most notorious true crime event may disagree.

The series, tellingly titled The Trials of Oscar Pistorius, comes trailing international backlash. The BBC had to withdraw a trailer for it in the UK after the preview managed to avoid naming Reeva Steenkamp altogether. Who is Steenkamp to the story, after all, other than the woman who selfishly ended Pistorius's glittering athletic career by getting in the way of the four bullets he pumped through a toilet door on Valentine's Day 2013?

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Director Daniel Gordon has fuelled the fire by giving interviews in which he said he hadn't quite made up his mind about whether Pistorius knew Steenkamp was...

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