Another night of waiting for Pistorius

2014-09-11 19:02
Oscar Pistorius listens as judgment is handed down in his murder trial. (Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/ Pool)

Oscar Pistorius listens as judgment is handed down in his murder trial. (Phill Magakoe/Independent Newspapers/ Pool)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Paralympian Oscar Pistorius will spend another night wondering about his fate as judgment in his murder trial was adjourned early on Thursday.

Judge Thokozile Masipa adjourned proceedings in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria before dealing with the matter of whether Pistorius was guilty of culpable homicide.

This was after she had found that he could not be guilty of murder.

However, Masipa found that Pistorius was negligent when he fired four shots into a toilet cubicle that killed his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp.

"I am of the view that the accused acted too hastily and used excessive force. In the circumstances it is clear that his conduct was negligent."

Pistorius said he thought an intruder was behind the door of the toilet in his Pretoria home when he shot through it. He fired four times killing Steenkamp on 14 February 2013.

The State argued the murder was premeditated.

Pistorius, 27, pleaded not guilty to the murder charge, and to three firearm-related charges.

Judgment would continue on Friday.

Following the adjournment, Pistorius remained in the dock while his sister Aimee sat on his lap holding his head.

His lawyer Barry Roux left the court smiling, as did his uncle Arnold.

His brother, Carl Pistorius, was pushed out of court in a wheelchair. Both of his legs were in casts after he was involved in a near fatal accident last month.

Media swarms Pistorius

A wall of photographers and cameramen lined Pistorious's route from courtroom GD to the white 4x4 parked outside the court building.

Pistorius was escorted out of the court room by police as he was pursued by the media.

People standing outside the building cheered and screamed as he was rushed out to his car.

Throughout the day the African National Congress Women's League sang outside the court in support of the Steenkamp family.

"Pantsi [Down] ngo Oscar, pantsi [down]! Rot in jail, Oscar, rot in jail!", they chanted.

There were also people in support of Pistorius outside the court.

"He didn't do it on purpose," student Anzer Rhema, 20 said outside the court.

"If I was the judge I would just forgive the person. Let him go. South Africans should forgive him for what happened," she said.

Masipa surprised everyone

Before judgment started people were predicting a guilty verdict for the athlete, however, Masipa surprised them when she acquitted him of murder.

"The accused therefore cannot be found guilty of murder dolus eventualis [legal intent]... that however is not the end of the matter as culpable homicide is a competent verdict," she said earlier, just before adjourning for an early lunch.

Masipa found that the evidence with regard to the charge was "purely circumstantial".

While Masipa read through her judgment, systematically going through the sequence of events, Pistorius sat in the dock weeping, shaking and clenching his jaw.

When she found he could not be found guilty of murder Pistorius heaved a sigh of relief.

A number of Pistorius family members were in court, including his father Henke Pistorius.

Steenkamp's parents, Barry and June, as well as her cousin Kim Martins attended the judgment.

Steenkamp's friends the Myers family, witness Darren Fresco and former soccer player Marc Batchelor were also in court.

Earlier, Masipa said Pistorius was a "very poor witness" and contradicted himself on the stand.

She described him as an evasive witness and said he failed to listen to questions, thinking of the impact of his answers.

Masipa rejected Pistorius's defence that this was because he was under emotional stress, traumatised, and medicated.

Read more on:    reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  thokozile masipa  |  crime  |  pistorius trial

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

SHARE: publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.