On Monday afternoon, April 7th, an emotional Oscar Pistorius finally took the stand, opening with a weepy apology to Reeva’s family that left June Steenkamp unnmoved. Experts on the Oscar Trial 199 channel on DSTV have said that her stony-faced expression indicates that the apology was not accepted.
Was the apology too little, too late?
I don’t know what legal council Barry Roux has given to Oscar, but I can imagine that the apology might have seemed like a publicity stunt to June Steenkamp. Why would Oscar wait until the eyes of the world are on him to apologise – over a year after the incident occurred? It may have sounded sincere with all the snot and tears and choking up, but the timing seems a little off.
I don’t actually mind that he gave a public apology – in fact it is the right thing to do, in my opinion. What does bother me is that he never apologised to the family privately first – ages ago. I imagine it bothers June too. Has it taken Oscar until now to actually feel sorry for what he did? I don’t think so, but that’s the impression his delayed apology may make.
Many people watching were convinced by his emotional display and have described it as genuine, but he wasn’t apologising to you or me – he was apologising to Reeva’s family. And by the look of it, the apology was not good enough. It hasn’t been accepted. I can’t imagine the grief that has overcome June Steenkamp since the loss of her daughter. It must be devastating. So I can’t blame her for feeling his impersonal, public announcement simply didn’t cut it.