Enough is enough, says Oscar's lawyer to State's sentence appeal bid

2016-10-12 22:53
Oscar Pistorius. (Phill Magakoe, Pool Photo via AP)

Oscar Pistorius. (Phill Magakoe, Pool Photo via AP)

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Cape Town - "Enough is enough", says Oscar Pistorius's lawyer in papers opposing the State's attempt at keeping the "blade runner" behind bars for even longer for the murder of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"This matter has been legally exhausted to a point beyond legal and human comprehension, as a result of which, the State's application evokes a feeling that enough is enough," Pistorius' attorney of record Andrew Fawcett said in his affidavit filed at the Supreme Court of Appeal on Wednesday.

Pistorius was originally sentenced to five years in terms of section 276 (1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act for the culpable homicide of Steenkamp in his bathroom in the early hours of Valentine's Day on February 14, 2013.

He said he thought a noise he had heard was a burglar in the bathroom. On his stumps, the world-famous amputee shot through the toilet cubicle door four times before it dawned on him that Steenkamp might have been inside the small room.

To his horror, when he opened the door he found her slumped on the floor and bleeding to death, he told Judge Thokozile Masipa between tears and vomiting at his trial in Pretoria in 2014.

Controversially, his sentence was an effective 10 months in prison, to be followed by correctional supervision.

The day before his release at the end of his 10 months, and having been told of his release date by the parole board and prison authorities, the Minister of Justice Michael Masutha suddenly intervened.

Fawcett said that Pistorius waited in prison for two months not knowing what was going to happen while his matter went through the parole review board and the parole board.

He waited for an agonising extra two months in jail, he said. His lawyer considers this a form of detention and solitary confinement because he was alone in a cell.

He was finally placed on correctional supervision.

Sentence 'anything but lenient'

In November 2015 the Supreme Court of Appeal overturned his culpable homicide conviction, and, finding in favour of the State, replaced it with murder. He had to be placed on bail again and the conditions were even stricter than his correctional supervision conditions.

There was further uncertainty as the matter was sent back to the trial court for sentencing and he had to wait until July 6, 2016 for the verdict.

This time Masipa sentenced him to six years; this was less than the expected 15 years for the crime of murder.

She did not include the one year he had already served and the correctional supervision period he had already served.

He started his new sentence on July 6, 2016.

Fawcett submits in the affidavit that Pistorius' sentence is "anything but lenient" if adding up the time he has already served, and will serve, and the time waiting for matters to be concluded.

"Furthermore, with respect, the fact that a person who is a public figure is not entitled to special treatment does not mean that he must be treated worse than other persons, as the respondent has in this case," Fawcett said.

Read more on:    oscar pistorius  |  crime  |  oscar pistorius trial

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