Paralympian Oscar Pistorius is back in the the Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) in Bloemfontein today, where legal arguments will be heard in the State’s appeal against his six-year jail sentence. Pistorius was convicted of killing his model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp and begun serving his jail term in July last year.
Reeva’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, arrived at court at 8am this morning. In a brief statement by family spokesperson, Tanya Koen, she said: “The family supports the State and the law must run its course – and what is happening this morning is part of that legal process.”
In the initial judgement Oscar was convicted of culpable homocide by presiding Judge Thokozile Masipa. An appeal was brought against the light conviction and sentencing, and the judgement was overturned in what the state called a ‘shockingly lenient sentence’.
Masipa sentenced Oscar for a second time last July and he is serving his six year jail term at the Atteridgeville Correctional Centre, in Pretoria.
The high-profile trial attracted media from around the world, and throughout Oscar maintained that he was trying to protect himself from intruders in the house. Reeva was shot four times through a closed door and died from her injuries in the early hours of 14 February 2013 .
Following Advocate Gerrie Nel’s departure from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Advocate Andrea Johnson will now lead the State’s team. She has stated said in written submissions to the SCA that “this court could reasonably arrive at a different conclusion on sentence, given that the sentence is shockingly, startlingly and disturbingly inappropriate or too lenient.”
Advocate Barry Roux, representing Oscar said in opposing papers that the appeal proceedings were hanging like a sword over the Paralympian’s head.
Proceedings will conclude at lunchtime.
Photography: Getty Images