Gerrie Nel arrives at court early to 'catch the worm' ahead of Oscar appeal

By admin
03 November 2015

A swarm of media vans and journalists descended on the Supreme Court of Appeal for the Oscar Pistorius hearing on a chilly but sunny Tuesday morning in Bloemfontein.

And perhaps hoping to "catch the worm", early bird State prosecutor Gerrie Nel and his team rolled their briefcases into the court at 07:30.

After passing through a security check, Nel entered the almost empty wood-panelled courtroom and started preparing. At one point, he sat down on the empty left-hand side of the courtroom, reserved for defence lawyer Barry Roux and team, and started flicking through his own photocopies. When an unknown man asked for a photo, he smiled and stood next to him for a “selfie”.

The defence started rolling in at around 08:00, followed shortly afterwards by a few members of the ANC Women's League.

Pistorius was not expected to attend.

Nel would argue that the Paralympian’s conviction of culpable homicide should be replaced with the initial and more serious charge of murder.

On October 21 last year, Pistorius was sentenced to five years for shooting Reeva Steenkamp dead on Valentine's Day in 2013.

He fired four shots through the locked door of the toilet in his Pretoria home, apparently thinking an intruder was hiding behind it.

The double-amputee track star was sentenced to a further three years, suspended for five years, for firing a shot at Tasha’s restaurant in Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Five judges would hear the matter, which has been set down for a day.

They are Judge President Lex Mpati, Nonkosi Mhlantla, Eric Leach, Steven Majiedt and Elizabeth Baartman.

Their ruling would only be delivered at a later stage.

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