There was hot debate in court yesterday on whether Oscar Pistorius’ culpable homicide conviction for killing his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp was the right one.
And now the legless Olympic track star must wait for the Appeal Court judges in Bloemfontein to decide if his conviction stands or if he should be found guilty of murder – and go back to jail.
Oscar (28) was freed recently on parole after serving a year of his effective five-year jail sentence. He shot Reeva four times in the toilet of his Pretoria house in February 2013.
Defence Advocate Barry Roux said Oscar genuinely believed there was an intruder in the toilet and his life was in danger. He said Oscar believed Reeva was asleep in the bedroom when he fired through the closed toilet door.
“He had erroneous belief that there was an intruder in the bathroom when he fired the five shots. Roux said Oscar heard a noise and had to shoot as he was “vulnerable”.
The State is appealing against North Gauteng High Court Judge Thokozile Masipa’s finding of culpable homicide.
Prosecutor Gerrie Nel said Judge Masipa misdirected herself.
“The High Court erred in applying the principles of law and ignored the circumstantial evidence of the witnesses,” said Nel. He said the woman’s screaming sparked the fatal shots.
Oscar should have foreseen there was someone in the bathroom when he shot, said Nel. The appeal was heard by Supreme Court of Appeal Judge President Lex Mpati and judges Elizabeth Baartman, Eric Leach, Nonkosi Mhlantla and Steven Majiedt.
Judgement was reserved.