Three Years House Arrest for Oscar Pistorius?

By Oliver Ngwenya    15-Oct-2014 05:34 UTC+02:00
Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court. Image: The Guardian.

Oscar Pistorius at the Pretoria High Court. Image: The Guardian.

Oscar Pistorius needs to be sentenced to three years house arrest or what is referred to as correctional supervision. This is according to one of the witnesses that have been called in by the defense team in an attempt to get the Paralympian as light a sentence as possible during the sentencing sitting which resumed in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria. The defense, on Monday, called three witnesses to the stand and these included Oscar’s professional manager, a social worker as well as the athlete’s therapist/psychologist, who has been working with Oscar since the fatal shooting.

Correctional Services social worker, Mashaba Joel Maringa, when put on the stand, made recommendations that prosecutor, Gerrie Nel described as shockingly inappropriate. Maringa had suggested that Oscar be placed under house arrest, or, more appropriately, correctional supervision. According to the social worker, the aim of this programme was to rehabilitate Pistorius into a suitable, responsible citizen. He further argued that correctional supervision was as ‘harsh’ as other forms of retribution. Maringa also recommended that Oscar perform sixteen hours of community service per month. He added that there was a need to declare Oscar unfit to own a gun as well as attending classes on how to manage his emotions. Responding to the social worker’s assertions, the prosecutor said the man had not applied his mind to the seriousness of the crime, adding that Maringa had misread the ruling on the matter because he seemed to think that Oscar had not intended to shoot his gun when the court had established that shooting the gun had been Oscar’s intention even though they could not establish the fact that he had wanted to kill whoever was behind the bathroom door.

Oscar’s psychologist, Lore Hartzenzenberg told the court that the losses her client had suffered were “incalculable and cannot be quantified”, adding that she considered his grief genuine. Hartzenzenberg also said that Oscar Pistorius was a broken man who had lost everything. “We’re dealing with a broken man. He has lost his love relationship with Ms. Steenkamp. He has lost his moral and professional reputation. He’s lost his friends. He’s lost his career,” she told the court. She added that he had gone from being an international icon to being vilified and taunted on social media. The prosecutor then asked if Hartzenzenberg thought Oscar was a broken man, would she consider the Steenkamp family also broken too, which she replied that she though they would be affected. When brought to the stand, the athlete’s manager elaborated on the deals that he had lost out on since the beginning of the trial. Several sponsors had apparently pulled out from sponsoring him.

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