Nel questions reason for Oscar's doctorate

2014-10-14 12:25
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Pistorius, Dewani trials dominate newspaper front pages

2014-10-14 10:44

Shrien Dewani's trial in the Western Cape High Court and Oscar Pistorius's sentencing in the North Gauteng High Court are capturing the attention of the nation. Today's newspaper from pages focus on revelations from the two court rooms. Watch.WATCH

Pretoria - Prosecutor Gerrie Nel on Tuesday rejected claims that Oscar Pistorius was awarded an honorary doctorate for helping provide prostheses to the disabled.

"You want this court to think he was bestowed a doctorate because of his charity work. It's not so," Nel put to Pistorius's manager Petrus van Zyl in the High Court in Pretoria during sentencing proceedings.

Nel read an extract from the speech given at the awarding of the doctorate by the University of Strathclyde in 2012.

"For what he's achieved at a young age through sport," Nel read, referring to the reason for the doctorate.

Van Zyl had claimed on Monday that Pistorius was awarded the doctorate for helping the university design prostheses and for his efforts to make them available to the disabled in poor countries.

As Nel rapidly read extracts from the speech Van Zyl stood in the witness box, following along in the text, his lips pressed together.

Barry Roux, for Pistorius, got up and objected to Nel only reading parts of the speech.

Culpable homicide

"I just want to get this in," Nel said, sounding irritable.

"Mr Roux knows he has an opportunity to re-examine the witness."

Pistorius sat still in the dock, wearing glasses, listening to the exchange.

Four police tactical response team officers in dark blue uniforms stood at the front of the court while a fifth one, in camouflage uniform, kept guard at the side door.

On September 12 Pistorius was found guilty of the culpable homicide of his girlfriend, model and law graduate Reeva Steenkamp, but not guilty of her murder.

Pistorius had claimed he thought there was a burglar in his toilet when he fired four shots through the locked door in the early hours of 14 February last year, killing Steenkamp. The State had argued he killed her during an argument.

Judge Thokozile Masipa also found Pistorius guilty of discharging a firearm in public, when he shot from his friend Darren Fresco's Glock pistol under a table at Tasha's restaurant in Melrose Arch, Johannesburg, in January 2013.

Pistorius was found not guilty on two firearms-related charges -- illegal possession of ammunition, and shooting through the open sunroof of a car with his 9mm pistol while driving with friends in Modderfontein on 30 September 2012.

Read more on:    gerrie nel  |  reeva steenkamp  |  oscar pistorius  |  barry roux  |  thokozile masipa  |  pretoria  |  pistorius trial

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