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Public reacts to Oscar sentencing

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As social media went haywire with the news of Oscar Pistorius sentencing on Tuesday, there was a mixed reaction on the streets of Cape Town. The Paralympian was handed down a five year prison sentence for the culpable homicide conviction of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. The athlete will serve three years concurrently for contravening the firearms control act when he recklessly fired his gun in a restaurant.

While many commentators described the sentence as “lenient”, others said they were happy the trial was finally over.

“This case just proves that if you have money, fame and power, you can get away with murder. There is no justice for Reeva and her family,” said Tougheeda Sampson.

Her friend Nazley Samodien said she was not convinced that Pistorius was innocent of murder.

“You don’t go pumping three bullets into a door simply because you think there’s an intruder. That’s intent to kill and that should be classified as murder, not culpable homicide. The justice system is letting us down,” she argued.

Mr Kader said that he was hoping a 10 year sentence would have been sufficient and added that he is surprised that the Steenkamps are happy with the sentence.

He thinks that the two parties came to an agreement behind closed doors and said that he would probably only be serving 10 months.

“I think it is unfair as he killed a woman at the end of the day,” he added.

A young man who wished to remain anonymous said that if there had been enough evidence or proof that he intentionally killed his partner, he would have been sentenced very heavily. He explained that the evidence or the lack thereof made it difficult for the judge to hand a heftier sentence.

Wendy Stemmet said that the judge made the right decision based on the facts presented in court.

Quite a few felt sympathy towards both the Pistorius and Steenkamp family, however the vast majority still feel that the sentence could have been harsher as it is an innocent life that was taken. VOC (Imogen Vollenhoven)


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