State files heads for Oscar Pistorius appeal

AUGUST 17, 2015

The State is to file its heads of argument in its appeal against convicted former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius at the Supreme Court of Appeal in Bloemfontein on Monday.

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Luvuyo Mfaka said the filings were of an administrative nature. 

The State's appeal against Pistorius's culpable homicide conviction will be heard by the same court in November.

This month, a judge would determine the exact November date.

In March this year, Judge Thokozile Masipa rejected the bid by Pistorious’s lawyers to stop the State from appealing her finding that Pistorius was guilty of culpable homicide. The State wants him convicted of the more serious charge of murder, which carries a heavier sentence.

Interpretation of the law

In December 2014, Masipa granted the State leave to appeal her culpable homicide conviction, saying it was based on her interpretation of the law. Appeals can be granted based on questions of law, not on the interpretation of the facts of the matter.

Masipa, however, dismissed the State’s application to appeal Pistorius’s five-year-jail sentence.

On September 12 2014, Pistorius was found guilty of culpable homicide for shooting dead his model and law-graduate girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. He was found not guilty of murdering her. Masipa also found him guilty of discharging a firearm in a restaurant.

On October 21 that year, Masipa jailed him for five years for killing Steenkamp, and for three years, suspended for five, for the restaurant shooting.

He fired four shots through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home on Valentine's Day 2013, apparently thinking Steenkamp was an intruder hiding inside.

Pistorius is expected to be released on parole on Friday.