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Oscar Pistorius to hear his fate this week

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It is expected that Oscar Pistorius will be back in prison this week, but the question is for how long?

Pistorius will hear his fate on Wednesday for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine’s Day 2013.

Two weeks ago his sentencing procedures began where the Pretoria High Court heard that Pistorius threw tantrums and was verbally abusive and aggressive towards prison officials in his first month in jail.

The court also heard that Pistorius was not mentally fit to take the stand during his sentencing proceedings – in a move to give evidence for a lenient sentence.

Yet, the State argued Pistorius was mentally fit enough to grant British broadcaster ITV an interview, his first since he shot Steenkamp four times through a closed bathroom door at his luxury Pretoria home.

During this interview, Pistorius said that it was difficult for him to deal with the murder charge.

“The day before we started the trial on 2 March 2014 I sat with my lawyers and I said to them whatever happens I will spend 10 years in jail for taking Reeva’s life, for culpable homicide, but I won’t spend a day in jail for murdering anyone.”

Pistorius said he didn’t want to go back to jail because he did not murder Reeva. The former Paralympic champion rehashed his version that he thought Steenkamp was an intruder when he shot her and only realised belatedly she was behind the toilet door.

Judge Thokozile Masipa is expected to deliver her judgment on Wednesday where the minimum sentence usually imposed on convicted murderers is 15 years. She has had the unenviable task of considering all the dramatic evidence presented to her last month by prosecutor Gerrie Nel and Barry Roux, who led the athlete’s defence team.

Pistorius is being sentenced for murder after his initial culpable homicide conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court of Appeal in December.

He was sentenced to five years’ imprisonment for culpable homicide but served only a fifth of his sentence before being placed under correctional supervision in his uncle’s luxury home in Waterkloof.

Part of the evidence heard was by Professor Jonathan Scholtz, from the Weskoppies Psychiatric Hospital, who compiled a report in 2014 on the Paralympian’s mental state after he was referred for hospital observation. He said then that Pistorius suffered from anxiety, severe depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Scholtz said the athlete’s mental state had since deteriorated significantly.

“His spirit seems broken and one has to prompt him to get hope for the future. Further imprisonment would have a detrimental effect on him,’ he told Judge Masipa.

He suggested Pistorius should not spend further time in jail but instead work for Twin City Development – a company owned by his uncle Arnold Pistorius – which does work related to early childhood development.

One of the most emotional and dramatic moments during the sentencing procedures was when Pistorius was made to take off his prosthetic legs and walk around the court room on his stumps; also when Reeva’s father Barry Steemkamp took the stand to testify.

“She must have been in such pain and fear. I think about it all the time,” said the 73-year-old father whose doctors had advised him against travelling to Pretoria to take the stand.

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