I spoke to two top advocates on criminal law and their view is that if Oscar was their client, they would advise him to settle the case and lead murder and serve at least 12 years in jail.
On his version, when he shot through the door, he intended to kill the person behind the door whilst there was no imminent danger real or perceived on his life. When you shoot through the door, without any immediate danger on your life, your intent was to kill the person behind the door.
Although Oscar may not have intended to kill Reeva, he intended to kill the intruder who did not pose any danger to him and as such the State’s case against him is murder. The advocates also indicated that they would not have necessarily opposed bail and they would have allowed him to get bail, but on his own version, he is guilty of indirectly murdering Oscar. Indirectly, in the sense that he thought he was murdering an intruder, but in actual fact, he murdered Reeva.
The onus in such cases is on his defense team to approach the NPA to negotiate a jail term, otherwise if he does not negotiate, he will get at least 25 years in jail. What Gerrie Nel mentioned in closing argument last night about the State of the Nation address and the gender violence, shows the State’s intent to prosecute Oscar and make an example of him. This does not bode well for him because the State will seek the maximum term in jail (25 years). The onus is on his defense team to try and reduce the term and any sentence below 25 years, he must take.
In such cases, the minimum sentence that the State can negotiate is 12 years and a plea agreement of at least 12 years will normally be accepted by the State. Therefore, his Counsel will advise him accordingly prior to the trial.
The crux of the argument is that although he may have not intended to kill Reeva, he intended to murder the intruder who did not pose any danger to him, real or perceived and thereby indirectly caused the death of Reeva.