Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


S.African state appeal seeks Pistorius murder conviction

03 November 2015, 13:21

Bloemfontein - South African state prosecutors will on Tuesday argue in court for Oscar Pistorius to be convicted of murder and sent back to jail, two weeks after he was released on house arrest.

The disgraced Paralympic sprinter was found guilty last year of culpable homicide -- a charge equivalent to manslaughter -- after shooting dead his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp on Valentine's Day in 2013.

At the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein, state prosecutors will try to convince judges that Pistorius should be found guilty of murder and sentenced to a minimum of 15 years in prison.

He was released on October 19 -- just one year into his five-year jail term -- to spend the remainder of his sentence at his uncle's mansion in Pretoria.

Pistorius, 28, said he thought there was an intruder in his house when he blasted four bullets through the toilet door of his bedroom, killing Steenkamp, a model and law graduate.

According to court documents, prosecutor Gerrie Nel will argue that Pistorius intentionally meant to kill whoever was behind the door.

The state lawyers have described the sentence as "shockingly light, inappropriate" and said "not enough emphasis was placed on the horrendous manner" in which Steenkamp died.

A panel of five judges will hear the arguments from the state and defence, with the proceedings scheduled to last one day.

The judges are then expected to announce a future date to deliver their ruling.

Also read: Pistorius moves to house arrest, but legal challenge looms

Pistorius, who has not been seen in public since his release, will not attend the hearing, family spokeswoman Anneliese Burgess told AFP.

- Legal uncertainty -

Steenkamp's mother June may be present, though her father Barry is not expected, said their lawyer.

Legal experts said it was difficult to predict the outcome of the appeal given the unexpected -- and sometimes unprecedented -- legal twists and turns that have characterised the case.

"The possibilities are to dismiss the appeal, uphold the appeal, or refer it back to the trial court -- which I think is very unlikely -- for resentencing or retrial," criminal lawyer Martin Hood told AFP.

If the judges uphold the state's appeal and find Pistorius guilty of murder, he could have just 48 hours to prepare for a return to prison.

Pistorius may also make his own appeal to South Africa's Constitutional Court -- the country's highest court.

But defence lawyer Barry Roux previously said Pistorius could not afford further legal battles, having already paid huge legal bills.

Pistorius shot his girlfriend at the peak of his fame, following his historic performance in 2012 when he became the first double-amputee to race at Olympic level.

In the shooting's aftermath, he lost his glittering sports career, lucrative contracts and status as a global role model for the disabled.

His release on house arrest after serving one-sixth of his sentence was in line with normal treatment of South African convicts, but was criticised by women's rights groups and many others in the country.

When Pistorius was due for release in August, the justice minister intervened to insist on a delay, in a move the athlete's legal team claimed smacked of political interference.

Steenkamp's family have said they may wish to meet with Pistorius to help them cope with her death.



Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...