Oscar Pistorius: Appeal, civil claim on the cards

2014-09-14 06:00

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Oscar Pistorius’ tears of relief might prove to be short-lived.

Pistorius wept openly after Judge Thokozile Masipa acquitted him on a charge of murder, instead finding him guilty of the lesser charge of culpable homicide.

City Press understands that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is highly likely to apply for leave to appeal Judge Masipa’s ruling.

The parents of Reeva Steenkamp are set to continue to pursue their multimillion-rand civil claim against Pistorius for loss of income and emotional distress.

It had been on hold until the case was finalised, but their lawyer, Dup de Bruyn, confirmed they would continue with it after the case was finalised.

A source close to the Pistorius family said defence advocate Barry Roux left a brief meeting with state prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Friday absolutely convinced that Nel would appeal the judgment.

Although no final decision to appeal will be made until after sentencing, a very senior NPA source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that there was definitely an appetite for an appeal on the basis of Masipa’s ruling regarding the legal principal of dolus eventualis.

“The appetite for the appeal went all the way to the top,” the source said, referring to National Director of Public Prosecutions Mxolisi Nxasana, who was also in court to hear Masipa’s ruling.

Other sources close to the prosecution told City Press that when Nxasana heard the judge’s ruling “he was gobsmacked” and simply could not believe it.

Meanwhile, police officers are keeping a close eye on Judge Masipa amid the growing furore around Pistorius’ acquittal on the murder charge.

Officers from the SA Police Service’s much-feared Tactical Response Team?–also known as the amaBerete?–?are stationed outside Masipa’s home.

They check on her every hour and escort her wherever she goes.

Masipa has been heavily criticised for her judgment. The criticism has bordered on hate speech, defamation and contempt of court.

» Get City Press newspaper for the full story.

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