Famous South African Trial of Oscar Pistorius

Brenda Wardle is a South African who serves as Chief Operations Officer at Wardle College of Law. She is also a well known legal analyst who has provided input both in South Africa as well as abroad.

Wardle has numerous law degrees and is currently working towards a Doctor of Laws Degree through the University of South Africa. She has published numerous articles on a wide range of legal topics including Section 100 Interventions, presidential pardons, the State’s case against the current South African President, and the murder of Eugene Terreblanche. She has also been asked to speak and give interviews for major media outlets like Arise News Networks, London, Channel 5 UK, and CCTV News Channel. She has spoken about many legal matters and trials as they take place and her valued opinions and knowledge has made her a hot commodity in the industry. She also spoke and wrote a book about the Oscar Pistorius trial.

The Pistorius trial took place in 2014 when the state charged Oscar Pistorius with the murder of his model girlfriend, Steenkamp. One evening, Pistorius shot Steenkamp in their home, claiming he believed she was an intruder. Pistorius was a runner who competed in high level athletic events including the Paralympic Games and the 2012 Summer Olympics. In March 2014 the trial began where Pistorius faced numerous charges including illegal possession of ammunition, tow charges of firing a gun in a public space, and a murder charge.

Due to abolishment of apartheid, there is no jury in South African trials, but rather the decision comes from a judge and two assessors. After months of witness testimony, evidence and discussion, the verdict was arrived at unanimously by the judge and her assessors. The judge dismissed much of the state’s circumstantial evidence and stated that the state was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Pistorius was guilty of premeditated murder, however, she did feel le was guilty of culpable homicide. She went on to say that Pistorius didn’t think clearly, failed to take steps to avoid Steenkamp’s death, acted too hastily and used excessive force. She found his behavior negligent and charged him with culpable homicide.

Watch Wardle’s discussion of the Pistorius Trial