Judge has to deal with loss amid dif­fi­cult Os­car Pis­to­rius trial

Sunday World - - News - SOMAYA STOCKENSTROOM

WHILE the world will be watch­ing Week 3 of Os­car Pis­to­rius’s mur­der trial, Judge Thokozile Masipa (66) is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a loss of her own.

On Fri­day, the judge lost her mother-in-law, Mok­gadi Jo­hanna Masipa (92), to cancer. She died in Polok­wane Hospi­tal and will be laid to rest on Satur­day.

The judge’s hus­band, Ng­wako Masipa (69), Mok­gadi’s el­dest son, said the trial would con­tinue as nor­mal, with his wife at the top of her game.

“If there is one thing my wife has learnt from my mom it’s that… jus­tice must be served. My wife is hurt­ing, but she is a very strong woman.

“Her work is im­por­tant to her and she has al­ready helped me with all the ar­range­ments.”

He said his wife re­garded his mother as her own.

“We will take time to get over this. We ex­pected her death, but it still hurts.

“My wife is Zulu and I’m Pedi, so back then it was frowned upon to marry some­one from out­side our tribe. But my mom wel­comed her with open arms and took her to Bot­lokwa vil­lage, where she learnt our cus­toms.

“She of­ten tells me: ‘ Your mom is more of a mother than my own.’ They loved each other,” Masipa said.

He said his fa­ther told him that he had in­sisted on mar­ry­ing a woman who could read and write.

“I fol­lowed in his foot­steps and en­cour­aged my wife to go back to univer­sity to fin­ish her so­cial work de­gree. My mom was of the opin­ion that ed­u­ca­tion is the light to life. She in­sisted my sib­lings and I fin­ish school while she sup­ported us on a do­mes­tic worker’s salary,” he said.

Pis­to­rius is on trial for shoot­ing dead his girl­friend Reeva Steenkamp on Valen­tine’s Day last year.

The bod­ies of two of the three boys who were swept away by flood­wa­ters in Mamelodi, Tsh­wane, on Mon­day were found in the Moretele River yes­ter­day. They are Molemo Man­gena and Neo Sehla­bane, both 10.

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