Oscar Pistorius murder trial will be SA’s ‘OJ Simpson’

2014-02-13 22:00
Cape Town – The Oscar Pistorius murder trial starting on 3 March will be massive and will be the "OJ Simpson for South Africa’s judicial history".

So says TV reporter Karyn Maughan of the independent South African 24-hour TV news channel eNCA (DStv 403).

MultiChoice is planning a special Oscar Pistorius TV channel for DStv which will start on 2 March, eNCA and e.tv is running the Reeva: The Model You Thought You Knew documentary, and M-Net’s Carte Blanche this Sunday evening at 19:00 will have an hour long Pistorius TV special promising "startling revelations" from crime scene experts.

Maughan who has covered the story since the shocking day on 14 February last year, said on Wednesday evening on eNCA that it will be "an enormous trial".

Pistorius is accused of premeditated murder after he allegedly shot and killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp last year.

Maughan produced the captivating and emotive half hour special report Reeva: The Model You Thought You Knew for eNCA and e.tv. It was shown for the first time on Wednesday night, with several repeats over the coming days.

The revealing, well-produced and must-see documentary is about Steenkamp's life: her upbringing in Port Elizabeth, the debilitating back accident that she suffered when she fell off a horse and almost saw her never walking again, the previous emotional abusive relationship that spurred her to speak out about the abuse against women, as well as the last few months of her life during which she was in a romantic relationship with Pistorius.

‘Going to be an ugly trial’

"It is an enormous trial. It is going to be the OJ Simpson of South African judicial history," said Maughan.

"It's going to be massive. It's going to be playing out to a global audience. My sense is it is going to be a very ugly trial. Oscar Pistorius' legal team regards it as a form of character assassination. The state regards it as an example of how erratic and emotional this person was".

Steenkamp was really an exceptional woman," said Maughan. "Her warmth, her determination, her resilience – you get a fuller picture of who she was" in the documentary.

"Reeva Steenkamp was an FHM model but she was far more than that. She utilised her beauty to get where she wanted to in life. There's a very big difference in the world between someone who consciously seeks fame, and someone who wants to have influence. And I think she was the second, and that very much comes through in this documentary."

For the documentary, Maughan spent time in Port Elizabeth, spoke to close friends who were moved to tears talking about Steenkamp, found footage of the aspiring model as a 20-year-old contestant in Miss Port Elizabeth, as well as people who spoke to her in the last days of her life.

Steenkamp’s close friend Phuti Khomo for instance revealed in the documentary that Steenkamp told her just before she died that Steenkamp's relationship with Pretorius "became overwhelming" and that it "took a toll on the relationship".

Steenkamp made no secret of wanting to be on television and having a TV career. She came a step closer when she was a contestant in the fifth season of Tropika Island of Treasure.

The show was already filmed before she died. The production company, Clover and SABC1 went ahead and broadcast Tropika Island of Treasure days after Steenkamp was shot and killed.

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