Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 10th 2014 Contents JOHANNESBURG---The judge in the Oscar Pistorius
murder trial was taciturn through months of court
proceedings that caught the attention of the world.
Tomorrow, however, she ll deliver a judgment that
brings her to the forefront.
Judge Thokozile Masipa, 66, has sat on a dais in red
robes throughout the televised trial, rarely interrupting
the drama unfolding below as the prosecutor sought
to prove that the Olympic athlete murdered girlfriend
Reeva Steenkamp and defence lawyers argued that the
shooting was a terrible mistake.
Her cryptic demeanor, likely meant to project neutrality
during contentious proceedings, masks the rich personal
story of a former social worker and journalist who
became one of the first black female judges in a country
that jettisoned white rule in 1994.
Some experts have pointed to Masipa s record of
tough action against criminals who victimised women
as indicators that she would not be easily swayed by
Pistorius assertion that he shot Steenkamp through a
closed toilet door on February 14, 2013 by mistake,
thinking there was an intruder in his house. Yet they
also describe her as a good listener and a dispassionate
analyst of facts.
For some South Africans, Masipa is a symbol of
accomplishment in a country where poverty and unem-
ployment block progress even though all-race politics
replaced white minority rule in a euphoric but troubled
"From our historical background in this country, it
is very important that young black people see role
models that are positive," said Kabelo Seabi, a Pretoria
lawyer who teaches criminal law. "I m sure that a young
female person that s sitting anywhere in South Africa
...would be looking up to her and would wish that, if
they were to study law, that they would be able to reach
that benchmark that she has set."
In the rare instances in the Pistorius trial when her
personality has shone through, Masipa has been stern,
chiding the prosecutor for harshly questioning the dou-
ble-amputee runner when he testified in April. And
she lightened the mood in the wood-lined courtroom
when she joked about making lawyers work "after
church" on a Sunday.
Seabi described her as a competent judge who gave
"latitude" to defence and prosecution arguments. Masipa
will not "decide the matter on her own" because she
has two legal assistants, Seabi noted.
"There is a remote possibility of the judge going one
way and the assessors going another, and the decision
by the majority is the one that will stand, on the facts,"
Seabi said. But, he said, only the judge decides on ques-
tions of legal principle.
Masipa studied social work and later worked as a
reporter for The World, The Sowetan and other South
African publications, covering township life at a politically
tumultuous time. Under apartheid, she was arrested
during a protest against the detention of media col-
leagues, according to South African reports.
Sekola Sello, who worked with Masipa in the media,
said he has closely followed the Pistorius trial and that
the judge was exhibiting the same "level-headedness"
that he remembered in her character decades ago.
In 1998, Masipa became a provincial judge on a
bench that was still heavily populated by white males.
Last year, she sentenced a serial rapist to 250 years in
prison. In 2009, she sentenced a former police officer
to life in prison for fatally shooting his wife after a
dispute over separation terms. She has ruled in favour
of squatters who resisted attempts to evict them from
a Johannesburg building and said authorities should
help them find alternative lodging; and ruled against
a former head of Eskom, the national electricity company,
who alleged he was illegally dismissed.
South Africa does not have a jury system, so Masipa
will read her verdict tomorrow in a lengthy process,
filled with summaries of testimony and legal references,
that some analysts say might require more court time
on Friday. Clues about the looming verdict could emerge
during the reading, but Pistorius will only know the
judgment for or against him at the end of what is likely
to be a long reading that will grip the world s atten-
Pistorius could face 25 years to life in prison if convicted
of premeditated murder. He could also be convicted of
a lesser murder charge or negligent killing, both of
which call for years in jail. The judge could acquit him
if she believes the 27-year-old made a tragic error. (AP)
Legal Notice No. 249
REPUBLIC OF TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
THE MOTOR VEHICLES AND ROAD TRAFFIC ACT,
Made by the Commissioner of Police with the consent of the Minister of Works and
Infrastructure under section 67 of the Motor Vehicles and Road Traffic Act
THE TRAFFIC CONTROL (EXPERIMENTAL SCHEME) (ST. ANN'S)
1. These Regulations may be cited as the Traffic Control (Experimental
Scheme) (St. Ann's) Regulations, 2014.
Duration 2. These Regulations shall commence on Monday 28th July, 2014 and
expire on Monday 27th October, 2014.
3. A person driving a motor vehicle shall not park on-
(a) St. Ann's Road, between St. Anns Garden and its intersection
with Ariapita Road; and
(b) Ariapita Road, between its intersection with St. Ann's Road and
4. Any person who contravenes these Regulations is liable on summary
conviction for a first offence, to a fine of seven hundred and fifty
dollars and on any subsequent conviction to a fine of one thousand
Removal and 5. Without prejudice to any other liability incurred by the commission of
impounding a summary offence, vehicles found parked in contravention of these
Regulations may be removed by the Police and impounded and dealt
with in accordance with section 108(1)(b) of the Motor Vehicles and
Road Traffic Act.
Dated this 10th day of July, 2014
Commissioner of Police
Approved this 18th day of July, 2014
Minister of Works and Infrastructure
Wednesday, September 10, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Judge to give verdict
in Pistorius trial
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