The Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, will tomorrow deliver judgement on whether Oscar Pistorius will receive a harsher sentence for killing girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentines Day 2013.
This comes three weeks after the prosecution called for a harsher sentence than the six year jail term Oscar is currently serving. The team of five judges will have to first rule on whether it will grant the State leave to appeal against what the prosecution deemed “a shockingly lenient sentence”.
The States application for leave to appeal was earlier refused by trial Judge Thokozile Masipa. The team directly asked for this earlier this month, in an application to appeal the sentence.
It would be the end of the matter if the SCA refused leave to appeal. If it did give the State the go-ahead, it will pronounce on whether the appeal succeeded or not.
If the judges rule in favour of the State, it has the discretion to either refer the matter back to Judge Masipa to sentence Oscar yet again, or order a sentence which the SCA deemed fit.
Head of prosecution, Andrea Johnson, opened her argument by saying Judge Masipa erred in sentencing Oscar to a six-year-jail sentence for murdering Reeva in 2013. Justice Ronnie Bosielo repeatedly questioned “Where did she err?”
Oscar’s lawyer, Advocate Barry Roux, faced an onslaught of questions from the bench regarding the events of the morning Oscar shot Reeva. Roux’s argument was that one must understand Oscar was ‘vulnerable’ at the time as he was not wearing his prostheses and feared crime.
The judges repeatedly asked why Oscar had not wanted to explain that night to the court, especially after having been convicted of murder.
“Why did he not then take the stand and explain what happened? Why did he not explain the four shots,” they questioned.
Judgement was reserved following the arguments on November 3, as Judge Bosielo commented that these were complex issues on which they had to deliberate.
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