The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) is expected to hear the State’s argument on Tuesday on why former Paralympian Oscar Pistorius should be convicted of murder, and not culpable homicide.
In October last year, High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa sentenced Pistorius to five years in jail for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He shot her through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day 2013, claiming he thought she was an intruder.
The double-amputee track star was sentenced to a further three years, suspended for five years, for firing a shot at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg, in January 2013.
The State was granted leave to appeal his conviction on a charge of culpable homicide.
Pistorius was released under correctional supervision last month. He was expected to serve out the rest of his sentence at the home of his uncle Arnold Pistorius in Waterkloof, Pretoria.
The State is expected to argue that the principle of dolus eventualis (legal intention) was incorrectly applied in his trial. They would argue that the four shots he fired showed an intention to kill a person, regardless of who it was.
Pistorius’s lawyers were expected to argue that he genuinely believed he was in imminent danger when he fired his gun.
His lawyer, Barry Roux, said in papers filed with the SCA that Pistorius could not afford a new trial, which would be too long and complex.
He said the initial trial was subject to intense public scrutiny, which would “contaminate and confuse” the reliability and objectivity of witnesses and proceedings in a new trial.
Pistorius’s “financial ability” for a new trial was “non-existent”, Roux said.
He further faced the risk of double jeopardy in that he would be charged with murder again, on the same facts, a charge of which he was acquitted. News24