‘Respect the judgment’

2014-09-13 00:00

JUDGE Thokozile Masipa is a good judge and her verdict must be respected.

So said attorney Surita Marais yesterday. She felt Masipa correctly found that the state had not proved murder dolus eventualis against Oscar Pistorius beyond a reasonable doubt.

“No one can say how they would have acted in his shoes. His version was so incredible it has to be true.”

Attroney Delia de Vries, who said she was convinced of Pistorius’s innocence of murder from the beginning. “His version was so bizarre, it had to be true. His emotions after the event were very raw. No one could have fabricated that so quickly,” she said.

Professor Petro Swanepoel of Unisa’s department of criminal and procedural law said the judge’s finding was factually correct. “He used overwhelming force to prevent what he thought was an attack on himself.”

Another lawyer, Leofi Leshabana, said the judgment must be accepted. “No verdict suits both parties. Someone will always be unsatisfied.”

Lisa Vetten, of the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research (Wiser), said she was disappointed, but doesn’t view the outcome as a setback for cases in which women are killed by their partners.

“The judgment doesn’t give men licence to kill.”

Attorney Piet Kruyshaar said he thinks the state have a “clean road” to appeal the judgment to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

“Another court could well come to a different conclusion. It would be unwise of Pistorius to appeal against the verdict.”

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