Justin McCarthyPeter, please explain what you mean by "unmediated social media"? That sounds suspiciously like an oxymoron.
Unrelated, your presumption that News24 closed its comments section to protect themselves is trite and betrays poor journalistic form (you did verify this Media24, did you not?)
Your accusation of the Pistorius sponsor's motives for removing its billboard advertisements ("they are convicting him along the way") is spurious and falls into the very same category you accuse Twitter commentators of. The double-speak is astonishing.
Your otherwise sensible piece is senselessly punctured by these appalling gaffes.
Greg Duncan-TraillIf it were your intention to include the jokes that are doing the rounds (you were very circumspect in offering any specifics), I say to you forget it, plain and simple...NOTHING will or can stop the greatest gift to all of mankind...a sense of humour.
Shadi ChaukeI couldn't agree with Peter more! It's amazing to me how people in general persecute public figures before a court of law has ruled on their guilt or innocence. Let's wait and see what evidence is brought to the court and let the law take its course.
Helga PearsonThere is one instance of your argument that I can't agree with. M-Net is a brand and so is Oscar Pistorius. They have every right to recall their campaign featuring Mr Pistorius and indeed they have an obligation to their brand to do so. Whether Mr Pistorius is guilty or not, in the mind of the viewing public, he will forever be linked to this horrible tragedy and by association, everything linked to him will be tainted in some way. Do you honestly believe, we at home could now see a tv, radio or magazine ad featuring Oscar Pistorius and not automatically think about Reeva Steenkamp being shot four times in the head and body? Is that the kind of branding any self-respecting business on earth would stand behind? The answer is obviously no.
Brett Vorsterlol, looks like this whole shabangle got more interest than the state of the nation address..
Retha van StadenAgreed, Peter. Use your big voices wisely!
Jeannine OrzechowskiEnjoyed your article Peter and wanted to follow you on Twitter, but you don't tweet!
Natalie Van Der MerweHis rights? Really? We can't hear both sides of the story because one side has been silenced forever. It is 'politically correct' bs arguments like these that enables abusers to do what they want and betray women like Reeva Steenkamp. Speak out and don't condemn those of us who have been through similar experiences when we do. Last time I checked facebook status updates and tweets didn't kill anyone, bullets on the other hand............ Let's not forget who the real victim is here. Stand up for what you believe in and to Hell with the rights of mysoginistic cowards.
Heidi BlainUumm seriously? Did you read what you just wrote?! Why is it that everybody is entitled to voice their opinions in this matter, but Peter Mann must keep his opinions to himself? Talk about double standards
Sue GrantYour fourth barb is a headline that a British tabloid under Piers Morgan's editorship might have used
Phunyezwa BalaIts shocking...how people are so quick to judge as if they are God, until the court has proven he is guilty no one knows what was the motive behind the tradegy. I feel for the girls family...may her soul RIP, for Pistorius even if he can be found guilty at the end we have no right to judge him...only God has a right to judge....
Stevie GodsonI couldn't agree with you more. I could not believe, for example, Dianne Kohler Barnard's Facebook status early yesterday, which was: "Awful news: Oscar Pistorius has shot and killed his girlfriend..."
As a politician, ex journalist, and shadow minister of police for the DA, she should surely know better and set a good example.
I left a comment but it was ignored.
I am not saying Pistorius is not guilty, but at this stage and according to South African law, he ALLEGEDLY shot and killed his girlfriend. If someone with Dianne Kohler Barnard's background and position so clearly does not know that, I guess it's hardly surprising so many other people don't.
Ntuthuko NtuliI refuse to suger quote his actctions
Ntuthuko NtuliI refuse to sympathise with a person who is able to shoot and kill another.
Dylan BalkindWhat this should be doing is giving our darkened country some perspective. Whatever happened, Oscar is still ten times the man our fearless leader is! http://tiny.cc/baujsw
Sue GrantWhere does Reeva Steenkamp fit into your picture?
Sue GrantThere is no "alleged" about him shooting and killing. He has made a statement already that he shot and killed her. The circumstances around how that came to be will be revealed through the judicial process. However information released by the police spokes person and the prosecution's decision to charge him with premeditated murder point to strong evidence. It is natural for people to speculate.
There has recently been a case where a defamation charge for a social media post was upheld and care should be taken not to risk being charged but discussion of the case in social media is to be expected.
see here for story on Legal Trouble for social media comments in SA http://businesstech.co.za/news/general/30925/legal-trouble-for-social-media-comments-in-sa/
Gwen WatkinsI am reminded of Alice in Wonderland -
'Let the jury consider their verdict,' the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
'No, no!' said the Queen. 'Sentence first - verdict afterwards.'
Cheryl KirstenPeter I agree. You've simply highlighted on this tragically sad day, how easy it is these days, through irresponsible social media actions & comments, where presumptions, assumptions and opinions are aired by all and sundry - based on NO FACTS at all & where we don't have the full story - someone can virtually be tried and convicted through public "opinion". We can all fly the flag of "freedom of speech", "own opinion", "our rights" etc,...but who gives us the right to judge without facts? Who gives us the right to publicly determine another's guilt or innocence before a court of law has ruled? Because some "assume" he's guilty, does that give them the right to destroy a life with words and unfactual, public opinion,...OR make them any less guilty of a crime? Let's wait and see what evidence is brought to the court and let the law take its course as Shadi Chauke said earlier. This is a tragically sad & devastating day for both the Steenkamp & Pistorius families. Let's show them some compassion. We are hearing from family living internationally of the damage this incident has done to SA's reputation on crime, violence and accessibility of weapons, ..and it is sad, so very sad.
Le Coon Blanc1 . - unless they charge him with murder now, they cannot add that charge later - rubbish !
2 - Defamation has to be "published". Indeed, but it must also be untrue and have the effect of lowering you in the eyes of your peers and be quantifiable.
3 - he is going to jail" certainly undermines his dignity in a way that is actionable if he is not guilty - Rubbish, his defense is Culpable Homicide, and in fact fits Murder, in that the required dolus in this case may be eventualis, but if not found guilty of murder, and found guilty of culp, he is going to jail, and his facts are culpable.
4. our Bill of rights was never based on the international declaration of human rights.
Perhaps you should ask yourself, if you think our courts should send a message to South Africans, that it's ok to shoot through closed doors in your home, when you are not alone, without calling out to make sure first, because that would be the net effect of a not guilty verdict.
Now, the trial may not have happened but he has laid out his facts, which cannot change.