SOUTH AFRICA:ATHLETE OSCAR LEONARD CARL PISTORIUS SENTENCE DISTURBINGLY SHORT, STATE EXPECTED TO ARGUE

North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Oscar Pistorius to six years for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day in 2013. According to the SCA’s court roll, judges Bosielo, Sereti, Lamont, Meyer and Mokgohloa are expected to hear the case of the Gauteng director of public prosecutions versus Oscar Leonard Carl Pistorius.

The State is expected to argue that the six years imprisonment on the murder charge is shockingly, startlingly and disturbingly inappropriate. It is also expected to submit that the sentence does not reflect the seriousness of the crime. The world-renowned athlete Oscar Pistorius was arrested on February 14, 2013, for shooting and killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

He would later deny the murder, claiming in his affidavit that he had mistaken Steenkamp for an intruder. When the trial finally commenced, a neighbour told the court that she had heard the terrible screams of a woman. When Pistorius, who was often emotional, took the stand, he apologised to his girlfriend family. During the trial, he maintained that he had no intention of murdering his girlfriend.

The court heard that when Oscar Pistorius was 11 months old, both his legs were amputated below the knee. He attended school in Pretoria and uses prosthetic legs. The court also heard that his parents divorced when he was six years old and when he was in Grade 9 his mother died. After Grade 12, he enrolled for a BCom degree at the University of Pretoria but dropped out to focus on his career as an athlete.

Handing down her judgment in September 2014, Masipa found Oscar guilty of culpable homicide and sentenced him to six years in prison. In October 2015, after spending one year in prison, Oscar was freed and was allowed to continue serving the rest of his sentence under house arrest. Later that year, the SCA overturned Masipa‘s judgment and convicted Oscar Pistorius of murder.

In March 2016, he lost a bid to appeal his murder conviction. Unsatisfied prosecutors challenged the six-year jail sentence and filed an appeal which, in August 2016, Masipa threw out. Persistent prosecutors announced in September 2016 that they would turn to the SCA to challenge the « disturbingly lenient » sentence. Oscar Pistorius is currently serving his sentence at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre in Pretoria.

CARINE MAMBOU

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