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Did the South African Justice System Fail in Acquitting Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani of Murder?

Anni Dewani: A Father's StoryChase Your ShadowTwo of the most publicised trials in South Africa, those of Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani, both resulted in acquittals rather than convictions.

In an article for BBC, Milton Nkosi explained why these acquittals should not be regarded as “failures of South African justice”.

Nkosi’s argument pivots on the importance of courts operating independently of “public opinion or emotion”, and ensuring that prisoners are treated as innocent until they are proven guilty.

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The murder trials of UK businessman Shrien Dewani and athlete Oscar Pistorius seem to have punched holes in the credibility of the South African judicial system.

Many people were surprised when Judge Thokozile Masipa dismissed murder charges against the Paralympic athlete, although she has now allowed prosecutors to appeal against this decision.

Judging by what I’ve heard here, people feel let down by Judge Jeanette Traverso’s decision to throw out the case against Mr Dewani.

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