In writing this article, I am breaking a promise to myself not to wade into the trial of Oscar Pistorius. It is not the case itself that I wish to address, moreover the saddening way in which the trial has ceased to become about the justice system in South Africa, and has devolved into a soap opera for our entertainment.

In the dock | Paralympian Oscar Pistorius stands in court in Pretoria, South Africa. (Image | The People)

In the dock | Paralympian Oscar Pistorius stands in court facing the charge of premeditated murder in Pretoria, South Africa. (Image | The People)

This was demonstrated when the presiding magistrate, Desmond Nair, granted Pistorius bail. However, before doing so, he explained at length his reasons behind his decision, which took almost two hours.

A flurry of tweets followed, mocking Nair for how long he was taking to reveal whether or not Pistorius would be granted bail. The subtext of these tweets was simple: “We’re bored. Skip to the end. Are you going to grant bail or not?”

Oh, poor you. Get me a violin. I would not be questioning the fact that Nair took an extremely long time. Perhaps an unusually long time.

Unless you are a legal expert, how is it possible to say whether this is or is not standard procedure, especially for such a high-profile case?

What does it matter if you found it dull? Since when has the legal process of a murder trial ever been for the entertainment of those observing it?

When the case begins, maybe we should have it on the set of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? Perhaps the voice-over artist from The X-Factor could present it.

Better yet, why not the person that does the trailers for Hollywood action movies? If we must turn the aftermath of this tragedy into a tawdry circus, we may as well do it properly.

Or perhaps we ought to remember that this is not fictional entertainment. I am making no judgement on the case, but the fact is that somebody has died.

The sole reaction to Reeva Steenkamp’s passing should be reverence and respect. The tweets from last Friday afternoon showed neither.

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