Pistorius must appear in court ‘urgently’

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Oscar Pistorious

                                                                          Oscar Pistorious

PRETORIA/CAPE TOWN.- The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) wants convicted murderer Oscar Pistorius to appear in court soon and receive a harsher sentence.

Prosecutors have been engaged in deliberations since the ruling by the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein overturned Judge Thokozile Masipa’s sentence on Thursday.

NPA spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaku said they wanted the process to be concluded as soon as possible.

“We are currently deliberating and facilitating a process where he (Pistorius) appears in court soon for a date for the sentencing to be arranged.”

He said during their discussions on the matter, the issue of Pistorius applying for bail arose, but the decision ultimately rested with the judge president.

“We can’t pre-empt the decision but they will listen to the facts and make a determination on the matter.

“For us, we want it as a matter of extreme urgency,” said Mfaku.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Thursday ruled in favour of the State, setting aside a 2014 culpable homicide conviction by a high court.

The unanimous judgment was clear – Pistorius gambled with the life of the person behind the toilet door by firing four shots with a heavy calibre firearm into a small space.

It referred the matter back to the trial court to deal with sentencing.

The SCA’s ruling comes almost three years after Pistorius shot and killed Reeva Steenkamp, later stating he mistook her for an intruder.

He fired four shots into the bathroom door of his Pretoria home on Valentine’s Day in 2013.

He spent a year in prison and was released in October to serve the remainder of his five-year sentence under house arrest.

Meanwhile, June Steenkamp has spoken about her feelings after the Supreme Court of Appeal ruled that Pistorius was guilty of the murder of her daughter, Reeva, overturning his culpable homicide conviction.

She attended proceedings in Bloemfontein on Thursday, while her husband Barry remained at their home in Port Elizabeth. No members of the Pistorius family were present in court.

In an interview with Sky News, Steenkamp said she was “overwhelmed emotionally” when the ruling was made, but she believed it was the right judgment.

“It was just emotional. . .something that has been going on for three years, and I just want recognition for who Reeva was, and for people to respect her and to love her like I did, like we did.

“The whole point was that he [Pistorius] did use those bullets, which are devastating, they crush your body inside.

“Anybody who picks up and uses a gun like that can only know that. . . somebody is going to be killed.”

Steenkamp said she believed justice had been served, and the appeal court ruling demonstrated that women can depend on the justice system.

“It’s justice for Reeva, and for all the women in South Africa, all the abused women and children that suffer, and that person gets away with it.

“I don’t think that’s something that’s going to happen anymore, I really don’t,” she said.

Turning to Pistorius, Steenkamp said she does not wish him any harm, but he must take responsibility for what happened.

She added she did not really care how long he spent in prison, as long as he paid for what he did.

“I don’t think that he’s going to suffer in jail. I don’t think that it’s my fault that he’s suffering.

“He’s ruined his life. . .There’s no winners here. . .My daughter’s dead, our family is devastated living without her, and his family is devastated, and he is responsible for that.”

Looking forward, Steenkamp said she wanted to continue with her work with the Reeva Rebecca Steenkamp Foundation for Abused Women and Children.

Pistorius’ lawyers, meanwhile, remained tight-lipped yesterday over his possible bail application.

“I’m not speaking to reporters. We are trying to work,” his lawyer Brian Webber told News24.

Broadcaster eNCA reported yesterday afternoon that a warrant of arrest was issued for Pistorius and it would be enforced next week when he was reportedly expected to apply for bail.

The NPA could not be immediately reached to confirm this to News24.

The Supreme Court of Appeal (SCA) on Thursday ruled in favour of the State, setting aside a 2014 culpable homicide conviction by a high court.

The unanimous judgment was clear – Pistorius gambled with the life of the person behind the toilet door by firing four shots with a heavy calibre firearm into a small space.

It referred the matter back to the trial court to deal with sentencing.- News24.

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