Oscar Pistorius found guilty of murder

© Lwp Kommunikaclo flickr

Oscar Pistorius at original trial.

UPDATE Oscar Pistorius has proven he is not a flight risk and will be granted bail according to Judge Ledwaba. The news comes as the former Olympic star appeals against his conviction last week of the murder of Reeva Steenkamp. He will be electronically tagged and under limited house arrest which will see him confined to a 20km radius from his uncle’s home. 

AFTER a long review of the prosecution appeal against the ‘manslaughter’ (culpable homicide) conviction of Oscar Pistorius, Judge Leach in the Bloemfontein court of appeal declared on December 3 that the five person panel had decided to overturn the original verdict, and instate a verdict of murder instead.

The reasons were many, but the two most salient points were that in the opinion of the panel of judges, Pistorius must have known that by firing a loaded gun against a closed door there was every likelihood of seriously harming or killing whoever was behind it. Therefore despite the fact that he denied knowing that Reeva Steenkamp was behind the door, he was still culpable.

Secondly, the original trial judge, Thokozile Masipa not only made errors in law when reaching her judgement, she also did not give sufficient weight to some of the evidence presented which should have led to a different decision. In his summing up, Judge Leach made it clear that in their opinion the trial judge had been in a very difficult position and should not be criticised.

He went on to say that there was no point in holding a second trial and that Oscar Pistorius would be sentenced in the New Year.  In the meantime the former athlete, who was described by a senior psychiatrist who examined him as having been left suicidal by what happened, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and severe depression, will be allowed to remain at his uncle’s house until sentencing is carried out.

In South Africa, the likely sentence for murder is 15 years.

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    • Brian J Deller

      04 December 2015 • 09:23

      Such a crying shame that O P had town and keep guns ready under his bed in the New South Africa, but I think Reeva told him she was leaving him and he went mad, He is definitely not a suitable person to have a gun, My wife and I used to live in SA and left because of the terrible crime situation there, S A is recognised as being the murder and rape capital of the World now. Apartheid was not so bad and promised stability and for the country and increasing numbers of non-whites are now calling for a white government again as they sink into despair and poverty. There will soon be another Zimbabwe again there.

    • kay peukert

      06 December 2015 • 10:01

      i hope it is finally over now as it seems to have dragged on for so long

    • gavin roberts

      08 December 2015 • 14:47

      kay, I don’t think it is finished yet. there’s the sentencing there’s the appeal for that the lawyers love these high profile cases .because of the money they get.

    • Edward Spalton

      08 December 2015 • 22:14

      South Africa has a Roman law system like most European countries. Under the British common law system, once you have been declared ” not guilty” , you cannot be tried for the same offence again. This is called the rule against double jeopardy. It has been slightly relaxed in serious cases since DNA evidence became available after a case had been tried but that is quite a rare occurrence.
      Also in British courts, the jury of ordinary citizens is the sole judge of fact. They can ask in open court for advice from the judge on anything about which they are uncertain but no judge or official is allowed in the jury room.

      This is something which is very different from nearly all mainland European systems and has been for 800 years.
      It makes it more difficult for the state to persecute people.

      Of course, it’s not perfect but it is one of the reasons why British people are increasingly opposed to being made part of a Roman/European law justification.

    • Leo

      09 December 2015 • 17:52

      Point 1………
      I fail to understand why, when OP heard a noise in the bathroom, his first thought was not for his loved one, who should have been in the bed next to him.
      When he saw that she wasn’t there, did he not automatically assume that it was her in the bathroom. ?
      Point 2…
      Why in the middle of the night did the poor girl find it necessary to lock the bathroom door.? Was she terrified of something more than exposing herself during nature’s call.?

      I suspect we are still a long way from the truth of what happened, that night. I am also amazed that a court judge could not deduce the truth behind this case of unlawful homicide…? If that indeed was what it was.

      Hopefully the truth will out.!

    Comments are closed.