Roux: Oscar Pistorius made ‘huge, unfortunate mistake’; Nel: No consequences?

2014-08-08 17:01

Oscar Pistorius should never have been charged with murder.

This was the final submission that was today made by Advocate Barry Roux, as the athlete’s murder trial drew to a close.

Pistorius will hear his fate on September 11, when Judge Thokozile Masipa will hand down her judgment.

Roux today argued that Pistorius made a “huge unfortunate mistake” and that “this case should have been all about culpable homicide” and not murder.

The test to determine whether a person is guilty of culpable homicide is whether a reasonable person in the same circumstances would have acted in the same way as the accused did. If they would have, the person is not negligent and not guilty.

Roux stressed that the reasonable person test had come a long way under South Africa’s constitutional dispensation.

“The law is not that reasonable man from 1960 in his grey suit and his grey shoes ... you have to look at the person with the same abilities and disabilities,” said Roux.

“So when we look at the accused’s conduct, you take his legs off, bring in the slow burn [of a person who cannot escape danger] ... then you have a reasonable person.

Read: Pistorius lawyers: ‘Little boy without legs’ is like an abused woman

Roux argued: “We say there he is without legs, facing the door, hearing the sound and he fired the shots.

“If that was reasonable, you must acquit him,” said Roux.

But Nel replied that there had to be consequences in a case such as this.

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