It’ll never end, says Aimée

2014-10-21 00:00

HIS trial will never end, Oscar Pistorius’s sister Aimée said yesterday as the family awaits today’s sentencing of the athlete.

She told the American news channel CNN today’s sentencing by Judge Thokozile Masipa was “just a stage in a journey that will never end”. Their brother Carl told eNCA it had been a difficult seven months, but today would also be tough, adding they all carried the weight of their brother’s sentencing.

In most culpable homicide cases where the judge finds the accused was grossly negligent, he would get a jail term, according to Johannesburg attorney Ulrich Roux.

“This is the norm, but the judge is not bound by it. There are no minimum or maximum sentence for culpable homicide. That is why the sentencing is the most challenging part of a guilty verdict,” he said.

Roux reckons Pistorius would either get a partly suspended jail term or correctional supervision. “But Masipa is very uncrutable and unpredictable,” he said.

Wits criminal prodedure specialist Professor James Grant said Masipa had a reputation for imposing long jail terms and he expected at least some time in prison for Pistorius, although much of the term may be suspended.

State prosectutor advocate Gerrie Nel fought hard to ensure a prison term, despite several dissapointments and setbacks during the trial. The biggest of these was when Masipa ruled Nel had not proven beyond reasonable doubt that Pistorius intended to murder Reeva Steenkamp.

Another setback was when Steenkamp’s parents, June and Barry Steenkamp, refused to testify in the sentencing phase and had told the probation officer they felt “neutral” about Pistorius and his sentence.

Pistorius’s defence team, led by advocate Barry Roux, tried everything to keep the athlete out of prison. Roux went so far as to portray Pistorius as the victim in the whole saga and argued the state, the media, the police and sociey had treated Pistorius unfairly and that he had already suffered a lot.

Masipa will tell Nel and Roux today what the end result of their seven-month court battle has been — will Pistorius go to jail or will he get correctional supervision?

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