Oscar Pistorius Trial: Appeal Date Set, Defence to Oppose Appeal

By Oliver Ngwenya    09-Nov-2014 05:14 UTC+02:00 5
Oscar Pistorius, right with Reeva Steenkamp. He was convicted of culpable homicide after shooting her on 14 February, 2013. The prosecution believes both conviction and sentence are "shockingly light" and are appealing. Image: The Mirror.

Oscar Pistorius (right) with Reeva Steenkamp. He was convicted of culpable homicide after shooting her on 14 February, 2013. The prosecution believes both conviction and sentence are “shockingly light” and is appealing the verdict.
Image: The Mirror.

It appears that Oscar Pistorius’s woes may not be over. Judge Thokozile Masipa has set the date on which the appeal in the case will be heard at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. Judge Masipa has set Tuesday, the 18th of November as the date on which she will hear the National Prosecuting Authority’s grounds for seeking leave to appeal both sentencing and conviction.

According to the prosecution led by Gerrie Nel, Judge Thokozile Masipa erred in her judgement first of all as she did not consider the accused’s conduct, “which bordered on dolus eventualis when he fired not one but four shots into the toilet cubicle in which there was evidently no room to escape”, he also used deadly ammunition and that Oscar himself was a trained marksman in the use of a firearm. Nel argued in his appeal that another, more reasonable court, would come to a different conclusion about the verdict.

Another area of concern for the prosecution, Nel believes, is that Judge Masipa erred in her consideration of the athlete’s circumstances and situation over and above the “horrific manner in which Reeva Steenkamp was killed.” He further posits that he finds it odd that, in her consideration of circumstantial evidence, the Judge did not “discuss, accept or reject the circumstantial evidence rendering the version of the accused impossible”. Bull terrier Nel, as he is commonly known, is relentless in his attack on Masipa’s judgement, noting that despite the fact that Pistorius had “a plethora of defences”, the court seemed to have selected one defence for the accused instead of rejecting them all and found the accused as being untruthful. He also objected to the sentencing in which Judge Masipa sentenced Oscar to five years in prison. However, the paralympian may only serve 10 months in prison, then he could be considered to be released for correctional supervision.

The defence, on Friday confirmed that they would be defending the application for leave to appeal made by the prosecution. Pistorius’s lawyer, Brian Webber confirmed that his camp had already submitted their intention to oppose the application to appeal both conviction and sentence of his client. He added that what they had to do was to submit the grounds on which they wished to oppose the application that had been made.


  1. victor says:

    Judge Masipa reduced herself to nothing by displaying her gross incompitence by being misled by Oscar’s defence. I hope she will come to sences now.

  2. David Edwards says:

    How can the same judge that handed down verdict and sentence hear the appeal?

  3. stanley says:

    The rules state that the prosecution has to first ask the same judge to hear the appeal, but I agree it seems pointless. If she declines, then the appeal can then move to the Supreme Court. In my opinion she will probably decline, because if she agrees to hear the appeal, she would be admitting her mistakes because she would then have to have a good legal argument to ignore the dolus eventualis, and the prosecution is confident that she does not have one. I think Nel is astute in indicating Oscar had more than several defences, and observes that the judge was biased since she chose to consider only one of the defense (which fitted into her agenda). She also chose to ignore the neighbor’s testimony about the argument between a man and a woman; The neighbor who lived closer may well have not heard the cries if she normally slept soundly or had taken a sleeping pill.

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