Home' Greymouth Star : 26-Apr-2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Saturday, April 26, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1865 - John Wilkes Booth, assassin of US
President Abraham Lincoln, is surrounded and
killed by troops near Bowling Green, Virginia.
1890 - Banjo Paterson’s poem The Man from
Snowy River is published.
1923 - The Duke of York, the
future King George VI, marries
Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in
1924 - Three people die and 10
injured in an explosion and fire
on a ship in Port Adelaide, South
1986 - The world’s worst nuclear accident
occurs at the Chernobyl plant in the Soviet
1989 - Death of US comedy actress Lucille
Ball, aged 77.
1994 - South Africa holds its first all-race
1999 - The Chernobyl computer virus
damages hundreds of thousands of computers
around the world.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Roman
Emperor, (121-180); David Hume,
Scottish philosopher and economist (1711-
1776); Alfred Krupp, German armaments
manufacturer (1812-1887); W F Massey, New
Zealand politician (1856-1925);
Rudolf Hess, Nazi leader and
Hitler’s deputy (1894-1987); US
seismologist Charles Richter (1900-
1985); Carol Burnett, US actress
(1934-); Duane Eddy, US guitarist
(1938-); Dick Johnson, Australian
motorcar driver (1945-); Channing
Tatum, American actor (1980-).
“As a well-spent day brings happy sleep,
so life well used brings happy death. ” —
Leonardo da Vinci, Italian painter, engineer,
sculptor and architect (1452-1519).
“And may the Lord make you increase and
abound in love for one another and for all, just
as we abound in love for you.”
1 Thessalonians 3.12).
The sudden death
of captain William
Harle on Wednesday
marked the end of
more than a quarter of a century of ser vice with
the Greymouth Harbour Board. Captain Harle
had been harbourmaster at Greymouth since
1958 and prior to that he was dredgemaster
and deputy harbourmaster for 20 years. He
collapsed at midday and died on his way to
Born in Sunderland, England, 69 years
ago, captain Harle ser ved in France in the
Imperial Army, later embarking on a seafaring
career. Subsequently he joined the Anchor
Shipping Company as a master mariner and
traded round the New Zealand coast. He was
appointed harbournaster at Greymouth on the
retirement of captain H Moar in 1958.
Captain Harle is sur vived by his wife Eunice
and one sister in England.
regrets at all.” With these words, Richmond
Quay publican Mr Frank McEnaney has called
it a day after 35 years of ser vice in the cause of
fire control in Greymouth. The deputy chief
fire officer has a grand record dating back to
April 15,1929, when he joined up.
The name McEnaney is a well-known one in
local firefighting circles and Frank McEnaney
has been head of a family which has given
generous ser vice to the cause. Sons Brian, Alan,
Graeme and Paul have all worn the uniform
and helmet of the local brigade but it was
father Frank who led the way. He very seldom
missed turning up. His work was recognised
in 1954 when he was presented with his Gold
Star for 25 years of ser vice and was made an
honorary life member.
uFood for thought
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3 Werita Street, PO Box 3, Greymouth
03 769 7900 (office)
769 7913 (editorial)
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03 755 8422
Poor old Tony Blair is condemned to
spend the rest of his life trying to justify
his decision to help George Bush invade
Iraq. He was at it again recently, insisting
that the threat of Islamist extremism is the
great problem of the 21st century. Western
countries, he said, must put aside their
differences with Russia and China in order
to “cooperate” in the fight against radical
President Barack Obama, however,
is tending to his real priority in world
affairs: deciding whether the US-China
relationship will be one of cooperation or
conflict. Not that that is the stated purpose
of his current Asian tour. Officially he is
discussing a free-trade deal, the Trans-
Pacific Partnership, with three countries
that have already joined the negotiations
( Japan, Malaysia and the Philippines) and
one that probably soon will (South Korea).
It is a very big deal. The 12 countries on
the Pacific Rim that are currently in the
negotiation — Canada, the United States,
Mexico, Peru and Chile on the eastern
side, Japan, Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam,
Singapore, Australia and New Zealand on
the western side — account for nearly 60%
of global GDP and over a quarter of world
trade. But there is an elephant in the room
(or rather, not in the room): China.
China is the second-largest economy
in the world and trades extensively with
almost every member of the Trans-Pacific
Partnership (TPP) — but it is not part of
the negotiations, or at least not yet. If it is
kept out permanently, many consequences
None of the 12 governments negotiating
the deal has said that it wants to exclude
China. The usual formula is to say that
China would be welcome to join if it
can meet the standards of financial
transparency and equal access to domestic
markets that are being accepted by the
TPP members — but of course it can not,
unless the regime is willing to dismantle
the controls on the economy that it still
sees as essential to its survival.
Keeping China out of this planned
free-trade area, the biggest in the world,
is economically attractive to the current
members, and especially to the United
States and Japan: the TPP would give US
and Japanese companies preferential access
to Asia’s markets. But the real motive
driving the deal is strategic: they are all
worried about what happens when China’s
military strength matches its economic
The Chinese regime insists that it has no
expansionist ambitions, but it has alienated
most of its neighbours by pushing hard on
its extensive claims to islands in the East
China Sea (the dispute with Japan over the
Senkaku/Diayoyu Islands) and to seabed
rights in the South China Sea (where
it has disputes with Vietnam, Malaysia,
Brunei and the Philippines). They all
want to nail down US support, including
military backing, if those disputes flare into
The US is willing to oblige. Even
before leaving on his
trip, President Obama
publicly assured Japan
that the US military
commitment to defend
Japan included the
islands claimed by China.
He will doubtless give his
hosts in South-East Asia
comparable assurances in
private about American
support in their seabed
disputes with China. The TPP is not
a military alliance, but it definitely has
That is not to say that a great-power
military confrontation in Asia is imminent,
let alone that China is really expansionist.
What drives the process, as usual, is more
likely to be the threat that each side sees in
the power of the other.
Asked in a recent BBC interview about
President Obama’s decision to shift
US naval forces from an equal division
between Atlantic and Pacific to a 60:40
ratio in favour of the Pacific, retired
Major-General Xu Guangyu, former vice-
president of the People’s Liberation Army
Defense Institute, replied: “How would
(the Americans) like it if we took 60% of
our forces and sailed up and down in front
of their doorstep?”
Then Xu added: “ We want to achieve
parity because we don’t want to be bullied.
It will take us another 30 years.” That ’s
no more than anybody else wants, and it’s
Former US Assistant Secretary of State
Philip J Crowley was expressing essentially
the same sentiment when, commenting
on Obama’s trip, he said that “Many
traditional allies ... value a strong US
presence in the region to balance against
an assertive China.”
In other words, it does not take evil
intentions to produce a tragedy. In any
case, it is not likely to happen soon. The
point for the moment is that the strategic
balance in Asia is what the US cares about
most, not the Middle East or even Russia.
The United States still drops drones on
the heads of various bearded fanatics in
the greater Middle East, but they are just a
nuisance, not a real strategic threat.
Washington has just sent 600 American
troops (600!) to reassure allies in eastern
Nato countries that are worried about
Russian intentions, but it does not really
anticipate a new Cold War with Moscow,
nor would it feel really threatened if that
happened. Russia is not the old Soviet
Union, and the US defence budget is 10
The real strategic game is now in the
Asia-Pacific region. Which does not mean
that it is any less futile and dangerous than
it was in the old days.
Gwynne Dyer is an independent
journalist whose articles are published in
Obama in Asia: The elephant in the room
WORLD IN FOCUS
with Gwynne Dyer
The results of last Thursday ’s winds
battering relentlessly gust after gust, are
apparent as we look around much of the
Coast over recent days.
It reminds us of the importance of
building well so when storms come
what we have built will remain firm and
steadfast. But this applies to more than
physical buildings; such truth applies to
our lives and our beliefs.
Jesus teaches us this in Matthew 7:24-
25: “Anyone who listens to My teaching
and follows it is wise, like a person who
builds a house on solid rock. Though
the rain comes in torrents . . . and the
winds beat against that house, it will not
collapse because it is built on rock.”
The teaching of Christ Jesus provides a
rock solid foundation for us to build our
lives on which means when the storms
of life come — and they will come, while
they may rage and batter against us, in
the end we will remain standing.
We must also remember that the
foolish builder found in the Gospel of
Matthew believed his foundation to be
adequate — at least up until the point
that the storms arrived and the house
came tumbling down. What makes such
a person foolish is having heard the
teaching of Jesus but not putting it into
practice. The words of Jesus demand
action in our lives — and only by action
can the foundation of our lives be made
solid. So the question must be asked,
what is the foundation upon which you
have built your life?
Rev Joe Keighley
Assistant Minister at Cobden-Runanga
Building a solid foundation
hen did they last
chicken strips and
a vegetable stir-fry,
and they ate at 7pm.
The prosecution says: Vegetable matter
found in Reeva’s stomach very strongly
indicates she ate within two hours of
death. And she is unlikely to have gone
downstairs and eaten in the middle of the
night, as it would have required unlocking
the bedroom door, and deactivating the
When did the pair go to bed?
Pistorius says: The pair went to bed
between 9pm and 10pm.
The prosecution says: The contents about
Reeva’s stomach suggest she ate around
1am, which was when a neighbour Estelle
Van der Mer we says she heard arguments.
Who was awake — and when?
Pistorius says: He spoke to Reeva at
about 3am, that she said to him: “ What ’s
wrong, baba? Can’t you sleep?” And he
replied, “Not tonight.”
The prosecution says: Why was
this detail not made clear at the bail
application, when he seemed to suggest
he did not know if Reeva was asleep or
What about the fans on the balcony?
Pistorius says: He went to the balcony to
“ bring in two fans”.
The prosecution says: Why was there
only one fan mentioned at the bail
application a year ago, and why is he no
longer claiming he went fully on to the
balcony, and is now saying only part of one
of the fans was outside the balcony doors.
And the blue LED light on the stereo?
Pistorius says: He picked up Reeva’s
discarded jeans, wishing to place them
over a blue light coming from his
amplifier, that was disturbing him.
The prosecution says: There were many
lights on the amplifier, not just the blue
one, and a red light on the television. Why
was that one bothering him so much?
Why were Reeva’s jeans on the floor
and inside out?
Pistorius says: He picked up Reeva’s
jeans from the floor.
The prosecution says: Why were Reeva’s
jeans discarded on the floor, inside out,
when all her other possessions were folded
away neatly in her overnight bag? The
prosecution says they were there because
she was intending to put them on. That
they had had an argument and she wanted
Was there a noise from the bathroom?
And who could have made it?
Pistorius says: While attending to the
fan, Pistorius says he heard the sound
of his bathroom window opening. He
immediately became sure an intruder had
entered. He whispered to Reeva to get
down, and shouted to the intruders to
“Get the f**k out of my house.”
The prosecution says: How can he not
have known Reeva had passed behind him
and into the bathroom?
It was pitch dark. She had her cellphone
with her, which even Pistorius says she
would probably have used to guide her. Yet
he did not see this light as it passed down
the passageway to his left. Even though
the tiny blue LED was bothering him.
Did the toilet door slam shut?
Pistorius says: He heard the toilet cubicle
door slam shut, and became certain an
intruder or intruders had shut themselves
The prosecution says: There is no
mention of this crucial noise in the bail
application, or in his plea explanation.
Pistorius says he told his defence counsel,
but they left it out. “ Why would they do
that?” Nel asked him, many times. “ I’m
not sure,” was the athlete’s reply. The State
also pointed out that the door was locked.
Pistorius has never mentioned hearing the
door locked. The sound of the door being
locked was demonstrated. It is distinctive.
Why did he not check on Reeva?
Pistorius says: He picked up his firearm
and moved, slowly, on his stumps, down
the passageway from bedroom to toilet,
shouting for Reeva to phone the police.
But at no time did she make any noise,
or establish communication with him
whatsoever. He maintains she would have
hidden silently in the toilet, fearful of the
intruders she imagined him to be shouting
The prosecution says: Why did he not
first check if Reeva was okay, as he left the
How did he not establish that she was
not there. Both sets of neighbours who
have testified in the case have said how,
when they heard a noise in the middle of
the night that night, they turned to each
other and said “Did you hear that?” But
Oscar did not.
Why did Pistorius approach ‘the
Pistorius says: That he moved down
the passage into the bathroom, his gun
pointed in front of him, but held with a
bent arm, loosely by his side and into the
bathroom. There, he stopped shouting, as
he did not want to “reveal his position”.
The prosecution says: Why would he
move towards the danger? There were
many options open to him. To go out on
to the balcony, or to go out of the bedroom
door and downstairs to safety.
Pistorius says: He is not one to “cower
away. That ’s not who I am”. And that he
moved toward the passage imagining
Reeva to still be behind him in the
bedroom, because he wanted to put
himself between Reeva and the danger.
Did he mean to fire the gun?
Pistorius says: He had his gun pointed
towards the toilet door. Not aimed,
specifically, but pointed, as that was where
the danger was. He heard a sound of
“ wood moving” inside the cubicle, that
he perceived as “someone coming out to
attack me” and “before I knew it, I had
fired four shots at the door”. He did not,
he says, “intend to kill anyone”.
The prosecution says: He was “ in control
of his actions” at all times. That he could
see the door. The handle did not move. The
door did not move. Yet he still fired four
shots into it. Why four, he was asked. Why
did he not empty the whole magazine?
Did he know Reeva was in the toilet?
The prosecution says: Pistorius knew
Reeva was behind the door. She was
talking to him when he shot her. The
bullet trajectory shows the first shot aimed
towards the toilet. That he then changed
position, and fired the next two in the
direction of a magazine rack on the floor.
The first bullet struck Reeva in the hip.
Pistorius heard her fall, and then changed
Pistorius says: Simply that it is not true.
And that there is no way he could have
heard Reeva fall. His ears were ringing
from the gunshot in the enclosed space.
Did Reeva cry out?
Pistorius says: Reeva did not scream, not
even as the first bullet hit her thigh. There
is no way his neighbours could have heard
the sound of a woman’s screams during the
gunshots that killed her. In his version of
events, Reeva never screams. He also said
he could not hear himself scream after
firing the shots, the ringing in his ears was
The prosecution says: Several of Pistorius’
neighbours claim to have heard the sound
of a woman screaming. If he could not
hear himself scream, how could he be so
certain Reeva did not scream? “You forgot
about the ringing in your ears,” Prosecutor
Nel put to him, as evidence that Pistorius
was “tailoring” his story as he went along.
Did Pistorius scream?
Pistorius says: He ran back to the
bedroom, calling out for Reeva. She was
not there. He checked by the side of the
bed, where he told her to hide. He ran
his hands along the curtains to see if she
was behind them. She was not. He began
to think it could have been Reeva behind
the door. He went out on the balcony and
“cried for help”.
The prosecution says: When the police
arrived in the morning, the fan he had
brought in from the balcony was directly
in the way of the balcony doors. He could
not have gone out on the balcony to call
for help, and that fan still be where it was.
Why did he not look for Reeva
anywhere else in the house?
The prosecution says: Why didn’t Oscar
search the rest of the house? Check if
Reeva had gone downstairs?
Pistorius says: He had already become
fearful she was in the toilet cubicle. Why
would he “waste time” searching the rest of
What about the cricket bat?
Pistorius says: He put on his prosthetic
legs, crying out for Reeva all the while,
and went back to the bathroom and struck
the door with a cricket bat. Eventually a
piece at the top came away, and he saw
Reeva slumped on the toilet. He found the
key on the floor, opened the door, went
into the bathroom and held her.
The prosecution says: Why, at that
moment of intense panic and dread,
discovering the body, did the screaming
stop? That Pistorius did not scream at this
time matches the version of events heard
by the athlete’s neighbours. It is yet more
“tailoring of evidence”. The marks on the
door are at a height that suggests Pistorius
was on his stumps, not his prostheses.
And the blood on the duvet?
Pistorius says: He carried Reeva down
the stairs and outside. A doctor neighbour
arrived shortly after.
The prosecution says: There is blood
spatter on the duvet on the floor in
Pistorius’ bedroom, likely to have found its
way there when the athlete carried Reeva’s
body past. The spatter indicates the duvet
was on the floor at the time, and Reeva’s
jeans are on top of it.
Pistorius says: The duvet was on the bed
when the incident happened. That it was
placed on the floor by the police, who
tampered with evidence at the crime scene.
— New Zealand Herald
With Oscar Pistorius’ trial for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp adjourned until May 5,
TOM PECK looks at the different versions of key events the court has heard.
Battle for the truth
Oscar Pistorius in court
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