Pretoria - The Devil made him do it.
This is according to a group calling itself Action SA, who, in a letter to North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa, pleaded with her to have mercy on Oscar Pistorius.
The group opened their letter by saying: “Please judge us not arrogant in presenting this submission to your honourable court”.
They added that, “guilty or not, they feel strongly that although Pistorius might have wanted answers and (to) seek revenge of some sort in a quarrel with Reeva Steenkamp, he really did not intend to kill her”.
They feel that “in a moment of satanic rage”, he fired “the deadly shots” into the bathroom door. “Immediately after realising that she had been hit, did the realisation of his deeds shock him back into reality,” they said.
The group said that, if the judge did not send Pistorius to jail, they would “welcome him as an ambassador and patron” into their group.
Sporting T-shirts with Pistorius’s face emblazoned on them and displaying posters with his and Steenkamp’s picture outside court, the group vowed to stand by the Paralympian.
Another supporter handed a gift bag for Pistorius to one of his relatives.
Supporter Henry van der Merwe took the day off and waited for his chance to meet Pistorius face to face. During the tea break, he went up to the dock and handed the “Blade Runner” a handmade poster that said “We support you, Oscar”, before giving him a hearty hug.
“I am terribly sorry for him and feel that he is innocent. If one looks at our crime statistics in this country, it is easy to understand that he mistook Reeva for an intruder,” Van der Merwe said.
Listening to the evidence of neighbour Johan Sander and his daughter Carise Viljoen, reliving the emotional moments as he carried a dying Steenkamp down the stairs, Pistorius sat with his head in his hands. He silently cried in the dock as an emotional Viljoen took a few seconds to compose herself.