Oscar Pistorius, the South African Olympic athlete charged with murder in the shooting death of his model girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, broke his five-month social media silence Sunday, tweeting four quotes about love, the meaning of life and suffering. The Twitter posts came just one day after Pistorius was involved in an altercation at a nightclub.
Pistorius' tweets set off a firestorm of social media interactions between supporters of the double amputee runner, and his detractors. This as his high-profile murder trial stands in recess, according to the Los Angeles Times on July 14.
Oscar Pistorius, known by the nickname the "Blade Runner," due to the special blade-like prosthesis he uses to compete with, hadn't taken to his Twitter account since February 14. That was the one-year Valentine's Day anniversary of his former girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp's death.
On Sunday, Pistorius first posted a quote from the Book of Psalms, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted." He later removed that post. That was soon followed by another tweet that included an collage of images picturing himself with young amputees, and including the message that you have the ability to make a difference in someone's life.
His final message Sunday night included a picture of him pointing to a passage from the best-selling book "Man’s Search for Meaning," written by Austrian psychiatrist Victor Frankl when he was a prisoner at the Auschwitz Nazi concentration camp.
However, the murder suspect returned to the social media site Monday morning, tweeting, "Lord, today I ask that you bathe those who live in pain in the river of your healing. Amen." You can see the actual posts here on the Independent website.
Pistorius supporters see his posts as remorseful and as honest cries for help. His critics however, view the messages as blatant public relations attempts to turn public opinion in his favor.
Interestingly, Oscar broke his social media silence just one day after being involved in a widely reported altercation in a trendy South African nightclub Saturday night. Pistorius was at the VIP Room in Sandton with his cousin when another patron approached him and began interrogating him about the murder case.
Pistorius' media rep Anneliese Burgess confirmed that there was an altercation, but denied that it was in any way a bar brawl. Allegedly Oscar asked the belligerent man to leave him alone, and soon after left the establishment with his cousin.
The man who aggressively interrogated Pistorius on matters relating to the trial has been identified as a Mr. Mortimer, according to ABC News. "My client regrets the decision to go to a public space and thereby inviting unwelcome attention," Burgess said.
Pistorius is currently awaiting a verdict in his trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp, who was shot by Pistorius in the couple's home in Pretoria, South Africa. Steenkamp was in a bathroom cubicle when she was shot three times through the door by Pistorius.
Pistorius has pleaded not guilty, claiming he believed Steenkamp was an intruder. However the prosecution alleges that he shot Reeva out of anger after a heated fight, and knowing full well it was Steenkamp and not an intruder, hiding inside the bathroom.
The closing arguments of the case will take place on August 8 and 9 at Pretoria High Court before Judge Thokozile Masipa. There are no jury trials in South Africa, so it will come down to the judge's verdict as to whether Pistorius is guilty or innocent, which could take up to a month.