State to appeal Oscar judgment, sentence

The state will appeal Oscar Pistorius's five year imprisonment sentence for culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The state will appeal Oscar Pistorius's five year imprisonment sentence for culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

The State will appeal paralympian Oscar Pistorius’s conviction and sentence, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday.

“The appeal on conviction is based on the question of law,” spokesperson Nathi Mncube said in a statement. “The merits and the demerits of the NPA’s argument in this regard will become evident when we file papers for leave to appeal.”

Last Tuesday, Pistorius was sentenced to a maximum of five years imprisonment for culpable homicide in the death of his girlfriend, law graduate and model Reeva Steenkamp.

Judge Thokozile Masipa also sentenced Pistorius to three years suspended imprisonment for discharging a firearm in public, to run concurrently with his sentence for culpable homicide.

Mncube said that prosecutor Gerrie Nel and advocate Andrea Johnson had been studying the judgment, doing research and consulting legal experts to establish if there were sufficient grounds to appeal both the judgment and sentence.

“The prosecutors are now preparing the necessary papers in order to be able to file within the next few days.” 

Disciplinary action
Meanwhile, the social development department is considering taking disciplinary action against probation officer and social worker Annette Vergeer for offering private services to the defence team.

“In line with the provisions of the Public Service Act, Ms Vergeer applied to the accounting officer of the Gauteng department of social development to render private services while still working for the department but the application had not been granted pending more information from Ms Vergeer,” the department said in a statement on Monday.

“The department is therefore considering disciplinary action and seeking legal opinion on what seems to be a conflict of interest.” Vergeer testified during sentencing proceedings for Pistorius in the high court in Pretoria. 

During her testimony, the court heard how Vergeer, who recommended correctional supervision for the paralympian, worked on the matter in her private capacity. – Sapa

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