/ 10 December 2014

Pistorius’s conviction appeal granted

Pistorius's Conviction Appeal Granted

Judge Thokozile Masipa has granted the state’s application to appeal paralympian athlete Oscar Pistorius’s conviction.

However, she dismissed the state’s application to appeal his sentence.

“In the result in respect of the application … the following order is granted. One, the application for leave to appeal against sentence is dismissed,” she said.

However, on the application against his conviction, she said: “I am satisfied that the points raised by the applicant [the state] are indeed a question of law.” 

The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein will deal with the judgment to re-examine the matter of dolus eventualis in the case.

On Tuesday, Barry Roux SC for Pistorius told the court that the law had been correctly applied in the conviction and sentencing of the athlete.

Prosecutor Gerrie Nel argued that the sentence imposed on Pistorius was “shockingly inappropriate”.

Nel said the court showed too much mercy for Pistorius, who could have foreseen that he could unlawfully kill whoever was behind the door. 

On October 21, Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail for the culpable homicide of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He shot her dead through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on February 14 last year, apparently thinking she was an intruder. 

The state filed papers last month calling for a heavier conviction and harsher sentence to be imposed on the athlete. Pistorius was sentenced to a further three years, suspended for five years, for discharging a firearm at Tasha’s restaurant in Sandton, Johannesburg, in January 2013. – Sapa